The Conservative Party Has an Issue with Harassment | Thomas Moss
There has been a problem left unnoticed and treated with incredulity within our great party, and that is the issue of harassment. This is not a nice topic or subject to talk about but it must be addressed sooner rather than later to protect our current and new members, and to make sure that our party is dealing with issues correctly.
I cannot go into detail on individual cases (those with a decent political antennae will have worked it out), but I was feeling unnerved with instances of unusual behaviour in the public domain on Twitter; so I was proud to set up a letter to CCHQ about this, and how the procedure to make a complaint is no longer fit for purpose. Over 24 hours have now passed since then and over 200 people have messaged me, with some really lovely and touching comments about the support this will give them, but also some disturbing and vile comments about abuse that is alleged to have taken place.
This obviously was picked up by the media, and I have to say, kudos to the Guardian for keeping the accused’s anonymity. As it said in their splendid piece, ‘the Conservatives have been accused of failing to deal with allegations that a senior party organiser sexually harassed a string of young women’. This is spot on and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.
We cannot go around and call ourselves ‘the party of opportunity’, and say that we embrace diversity and uphold tolerance and allow numerous victims – most of whom are young and female, which is a demographic that is very low in our membership – to continue to worry that their issues will not be dealt with correctly, and with due process.
I must emphasise the need for due process. The accused – and the accuser – are both entitled to be innocent until proved guilty and not let ‘the mob’ get in the way of this. But from reports and comments I have been told in secrecy, this is not happening.
Mental health is also a really important aspect to this. With the anonymity being opened of the accused, their mental health could be worsening. So could the accused with the media attention and worries this has not been done correctly. The Conservative Party have a busy time at the moment with dealing with our extraction from the European Union on October 31st, but they really must get their house in order on this issue before they lecture other parties on anti-Semitism, for example.
I hope the leadership of the party wakes up and now decides to act.
If you wish to read the letter I sent, it is below, and if you wish to support myself in this action, please feel free to message me via my Twitter account:
We, the undersigned, are contacting the Conservative and Unionist Party, as party members, about the abhorrent way that the complaints procedure is currently structured and how individual members within the party cannot be held to account for disobeying its Code of Conduct and how incidents of alleged harassment have failed to rise to fruition in the complaints procedure.
In the great party of Thatcher and Churchill, there is unfortunately an elephant in the room that must be tackled. It is the stench of a root and branch problem where young female members are sexually harassed and treated with disdain by the official Complaints Procedure, as they are unable to show hard evidence, which would be impossible to produce.
The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to set out ‘minimum standards of behaviour…and the absence of all inappropriate behaviour, in all aspects of the Party’s activities’. A sub-section of this Code is ‘not use their position to bully, abuse, victimise, harass or unlawfully discriminate against others’, which was expanded by the Board in 2017. We believe that there are individuals within the Party – after speaking to fellow female members – that it is plainly clear that they have not followed and upheld the standards required, and sadly, this has not been taken into consideration in future investigations.
We want to make it clear that we support and uphold the values set up by the Code of Conduct and we are firmly behind the women taking a stand against the intolerable abuse that has taken place. Action must be taken now.