Tories close probe into Delyn MP Rob Roberts unacceptable conduct

Tories close probe into Delyn MP Rob Roberts unacceptable conduct

An MP who was accused of multiple allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards parliamentary staff is facing no further action from his party.

The Conservatives said they had “strongly rebuked” Delyn’s Rob Roberts for his “unacceptable” conduct.

But a woman who Mr Roberts had asked to “fool around” with him said it was like “he’s gotten away with it”.

She said he should have had the whip removed. The party said it did not take decisions on the whip.

Mr Roberts was asked to comment.

The female former intern told BBC Wales: “It’s not one incident but multiple and he’s a threat to our safety.

“He’s gotten away with it, and that’s not acceptable.”

She added that the outcome of the party’s investigation brought “the morals and values of the Conservative Party under scrutiny if they are unwilling to stand up against sexual harassment and stand on the side of women – especially in the current climate.”

She also criticised their decision of “keeping him within the party and giving such a minimal punishment”.

The intern claimed that “at no point” was she contacted as part of the Conservative Party’s investigation.

Removing the whip means that an MP is thrown out of their party.

In response, the Conservative party said it does not make decisions on the whip and that no official complaint was received by the party from anyone who claims to have been sexually harassed.

It added that complaints made to the party were not directly from individuals involved, but came from third parties.

Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians had previously called for the Conservative Party to remove his party whip.

Mr Roberts was warned about future conduct by the party’s co-chairman and was instructed to do safeguarding and social media training.

In July, messages seen by BBC Wales showed Mr Roberts inviting a 21-year-old female intern who was working in Parliament to “fool around” with him.

The intern had told BBC Wales the messages had made her feel “really vulnerable”.

He also admitted asking out another House of Commons employee, which led them to move position.

At least two complaints were made about Mr Roberts to Parliament’s independent complaints and grievance scheme (ICGS).

The Conservative Party had said the MP’s conduct was completely unacceptable and launched a party investigation into his behaviour.

On Thursday evening, a Conservative Party spokesperson said: “The investigation into Rob Roberts has concluded.

“Rob Roberts’ conduct was found to be unacceptable under the party’s code of conduct and he has been strongly rebuked.

“Mr Roberts has apologised for his behaviour and was instructed to undertake safeguarding and social media protection training.”

The party have said complaints about Mr Roberts were examined by a panel constituted under the party’s code of conduct, which was chaired by an independent QC.

Mr Roberts was elected as the Conservative MP for Delyn in north Wales in December 2019.

His seat was a gain from Labour in the so-called Red Wall and had been previously held by Labour MP David Hanson since 1992.

Last year, the MP said he recognised the request to ask the staffer out “was inappropriate” but had not commented on the messages sent to the intern.

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