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MPs could take modules to ensure understanding of harassment, report claims

A cross-party panel was set up in the wake of the Westminster sexual harassment scandal.

MPs may have to take online learning modules to ensure a “better understanding of bullying and harassment”.

The measure is just one of many proposed by a cross-party panel set up in the wake of the Westminster sexual harassment scandal.

In a leaked draft report, the panel – chaired by Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom – also recommends a human resources service for Parliament.

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(Lauren Hurley/PA)

MPs are currently responsible for hiring their own staff.

The report, leaked to Sky News, also calls for a specialist helpline staffed by qualified experts in sexual harassment – which would be separate from other workplace issues.

A specialist investigator, likely to be a lawyer with experience in this field, could also be appointed to look into allegations independently.

And the panel also recommends that another committee is established to consult on imposing tougher sanctions.

In a statement to Sky News, Ms Leadsom said: “This is a very serious matter that the working group are determined to get right and, as the chair, I will not comment on the content of leaked documents.

“We all recognise the need to change the culture in Westminster.

“The Working Group will meet as soon as Parliament returns to make further progress in creating an independent complaints procedure. In the meantime, interim support has been put in place by the House Authorities.”

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