A Cabinet minister has said that Tory deputy chief whip Chris Pincher appears to have made “massive misjudgements”.
Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, told GB News: “…my first reaction with all of this is always one of sadness rather than anger because so many people are affected by this.
“Clearly massive misjudgements appear on the face of it to have been made and and I think our first priority, rather than turning this into a sort of part of political discussion, with which it sounded almost dangerously like it was about to be, that we look after the interests of people who have been adversely affected by this.
“They must be and will remain our absolute first priority so that anybody in Parliament for any party who feels that they have ended up in one of the very unfortunate positions has an independent grievance procedure they can go to.
“They can expect to be heard, as I say, anonymously, and independently and I, that for me seems to be the priority that we should be addressing, rather than so try to use this as an opportunity to say notch up a couple of political goals that seems sort of sounds and feels to me a bit unedifying, in a very difficult situation.”
Speaking during an interview on Breakfast with Stephen Dixon and Anne Diamond, he was asked what he could say that will restore people’s faith in MPs.
Mr Hart said: “Me standing here alone, I probably, there isn’t a sentence or a word that I can use which is instantly going to change all of this and suddenly make everybody feel better about it.”
He added: “There isn’t a workplace in the land, which could say with absolute certainty that these sorts of things never happened.
“We want to minimise the risk and above all, we want to make people, we will make people proud to work here, people love working in this place, it is fantastic that most MPs do a really good job and take their standards incredibly seriously as do most of the staff who work here too.
“So yes, there are some really sad and unfortunate, very stark examples of where this goes wrong.
“Nine times out of 10 it doesn’t go wrong but when it does, I hope that there are measures in place…it’s still in its infancy. I hope it protects people’s interests as well, best we can.
“Nobody likes hearing these things. I mean, I’d much rather come on here and talk about other stuff but we have to confront these things when they come off.”