British Conservative lawmaker suspended for watching porn in Parliament

LONDON (AP) — A lawmaker for Britain’s ruling Conservative Party has been suspended after colleagues alleged he watched pornography on his phone in the Commons chamber.

Party whips – officials responsible for enforcing discipline – said on Friday that Neil Parish had been suspended from the Conservative Party in Parliament while the House of Commons Standards Committee investigated. He will remain a legislator but will sit as an independent.

Parish, 65, has represented a district in South West England in the Lower House of Parliament since 2010 and leads the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

The allegations against him are the latest allegations of sexual misconduct in British politics. Long known for its boozy, macho atmosphere, parliament is now a more diverse place, but lawmakers and staff say bullying, harassment and inappropriate behavior are still rampant in a system that largely allows lawmakers to self-regulate.

Earlier this week, women lawmakers reacted with outrage after a newspaper quoted an unnamed Tory lawmaker who accused Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner of trying to ‘distract’ the Prime Minister during the debates by crossing and by uncrossing the legs.

Besides Paris, three other Tory MPs are currently suspended by the party for sexual misconduct.

Allegations of sexism and misconduct involving Tories are an additional issue for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose job is on the line after he was fined by police for attending a party in 2020 that breached the government imposed coronavirus lockdown rules.

Local elections across the UK on Thursday will give voters a chance to show their feelings for the ruling party.

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