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Wednesday 17 July 2019

FDA welcomes Commons decision to allow investigation of historical bullying and harassment complaints - but more needs to be done

Responding to the decision made by the House of Commons to allow the investigation of historical bullying and harassment complaints made against MPs, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

“The FDA welcomes the House of Commons’ decision to scrap the artificial deadline imposed on those who wish to bring a complaint of bullying or harassment against an MP.

“By following the recommendation made in both Dame Laura Cox QC and Gemma White QC’s reports, the House has accepted that, up until now, there has been no process for investigating complaints that has enjoyed the confidence of staff. As such, it was clear that many of those who had been subjected to abuse had felt unable to bring forward a complaint.

“Addressing this injustice is a critical step in allowing everyone in Parliament to confront past bullying and harassment and, crucially, to move on from it.

“The decision on historical cases is, however, only one of the two key recommendations made in the Dame Laura Cox report. A process that is free from the involvement of MPs has – ten months after the House Commission agreed to implement it – still not been put in place. The necessity for a fully independent procedure was reaffirmed only last week in the Gemma White report, where the author made clear that those who work directly for MPs would not bring complaints forward if MPs had any involvement in the process.

“The House Commission and Parliament now need to stop dragging their feet and implement this final reform. It’s 2019: time to recognise that House of Commons staff deserve a workplace free of fear and intimidation, with working practices fit for the 21st century.”

Notes for editors 
1. The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS. 
2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union". 
3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk. General Secretary Dave Penman tweets as @FDAGenSec
4. For more information contact: 

 Communications Manager Kay Hender
07980 700747
kay@fda.org.uk

Communications Officer Laura Gilbert
07984 990601
laura.gilbert@fda.org.uk

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