A former Tory staffer who gave evidence against Nigel Evans has claimed that drinking and sleaze is out of control at Westminster, according the the Daily Mail. The 35 year old, who is the infamous ‘reluctant’ alleged victim of Nigel Evans, said parents would be “shocked” about what their early twenties children got up to.
The married former researcher had claimed Nigel Evans put his hands down his pants at 2003 Conservative Party Conference, but denied that he had been assaulted. He expressed his anger at being forced to give evidence at Mr Evans trial.
However the man, who is married, was nonetheless scathing about the culture of alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct at the Palace of Westminster. “I think an awful lot of parents of people who work in Parliament would be horrified if they saw the reality of what life in the Westminster bubble is like” he told Newsnight.
“Parliament needs to get a grip on this alcohol-fuelled sleaze before it brews into something worse than the expenses scandal that destroys all trust in MPs. There is a problem and the politicians need to act. Otherwise a story will come out that starts an onslaught that makes the accusations we have heard in the last few weeks seem like small fry.”
He said the problems arise because politicians are away from their families for long periods of time and are surrounded by “impressionable straight-out-of-university ambitious people… It’s a recipe for an awful lot of borderline people to be pushed over the edge and unfortunately that gives all MPs a bad name” he said.
Commenting on wider rumours of abortions, date rape drugs and sex parties he said, “Most of these will be largely untrue, but there will be some reason why that rumour started in the first place. I think the sleazy nature of MPs hanging around with people who are just out of university, it does not look good.
“We’re now living in an age when everyone’s got a camera in their pocket. At some point someone is going to take a photo in the Strangers’ Bar of someone behaving in a way they shouldn’t and it’s going to balloon and some very serious allegations will come forward, and by that point it will be too late and Parliament will have to act.”
In response to the growing list of allegation swirling around Westminster the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow has decided to establish a complaints hotline for staff. Whilst the Conservative Party have published a voluntary code of conduct for MPs.
However the real pressure is for Parliamentary Staff to be directly employed by the House of Commons, instead of being the employees of the 650 individual MPs. This would give the House authorities the powers to act if problems arose.
The former staffer believes there should be a 9pm curfew in Parliamentary bars for staff.