Westminster is being engulfed by allegations about sexual misconduct and failure to protect vulnerable activists
The House of Commons authorities were today accused of ignoring allegations from a Tory activist that she was raped.
The woman has said she raised concerns about with Clerk of the House about the ‘toxic’ Westminster culture after being attacked by a Conservative MP’s staffer.
But the meeting was apparently never followed up and the activist said she had heard ‘nothing’ back.
The claims will fuel the growing scandal about abuses at Westminster and protection for vulnerable political aides.
The woman – known only as ‘Amanda’ – described her experience in an interview with the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.
‘I was raped by someone senior to me in the Conservative Party. It was violent. It wasn’t in Westminster, it was in my own home,’ she said.
‘And it shouldn’t have happened. I remember the attack, during the attack. I remember the room disappearing around me and thinking I was going to die.
‘When he left the next day I was at the police station within an hour and I reported it.’
While awaited a trial date, she decided to tell the Commons officials about the alleged rape.
She is said to have had a 25 minute meeting with Clerk David Natzler, during which she voiced concerns about the way the ‘heavy-drinking and sex-driven’ Westminster culture had contributed to the attack.
The woman said she was led to believe her case and points would be passed on to then-Chief Whip Gavin Williamson and Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom.
But Amanda said: ‘I never received contact from either of them. The parliamentary authorities never followed it up with me either. I heard nothing.’
Mrs Leadsom is believed to have been informed about the general concerns about the culture, but not the rape case. Mr Williamson has indicated he was not informed about the discussion.
In a statement issued to the programme, Mr Natzler confirmed the conversation took place.
‘The allegation was mentioned but was not the focus of the discussion, as the incident had not taken place on the Parliamentary Estate, and the activist had not been employed on the estate,’ the statement said.
‘There was no question of formally “referring” the allegations to other House authorities as there was already a criminal case under way.’
The woman is said to have had a 25 minute meeting with Clerk David Natzler (pictured in a BBC interview earlier this year), during which she voiced concerns about the ‘heavy-drinking and sex-driven’ Westminster culture