MP Keith Vaz accused of bullying Commons clerks (News)


Bullying claims

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Former clerk Jenny McCullough alleges she was bullied by MP Keith Vaz

Labour MP Keith Vaz bullied clerks who sought to uphold the principles and means of the Commons, Newsnight has discovered.

One clerk claims Mr Vaz, who in 2016 stop as the top of a choose committee after a tabloid reported he had employed prostitutes, advised her she was dangerous at her job as a result of she was “not a mom”.

Accounts of his behaviour have been recorded within the clerk’s value determinations however nobody within the Commons intervened to guard her.

Mr Vaz denies breaching any of the principles of the Home and denies bullying.

Jenny McCullough served as a clerk within the Home of Commons from 2002 to 2011. She has claimed Mr Vaz repeatedly bullied and undermined her place within the Home whereas he was chairman of the Commons Dwelling Affairs Choose Committee.

Northern Irish background

Different clerks have advised Newsnight that this was a part of a sample of behaviour. They mentioned that the Leicester East MP was susceptible to bullying clerks, significantly those that tried to face up for the requirements of the Home.

Ms McCullough alleges that Mr Vaz mentioned she was a poor clerk as a result of she was “not a mom”. He additionally made jokes about whether or not Ms McCullough was a safety menace, on account of her Northern Irish background and accent.

Mr Vaz was chairman of the house affairs committee from 2007 till his resignation in 2016 – the Sunday Mirror reported he was caught hiring prostitutes and exhibiting keen to pay for medicine. An inquiry into that’s ongoing.

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UK Parliament

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Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East

Ms McCullough’s relationship with Mr Vaz deteriorated quickly on an official committee journey to Russia and Ukraine in 2008, when Ms McCullough raised issues with Mr Vaz about his compliance with the principles and protocols of the Home.

The principles and requirements round these journeys demand, for instance, that MPs organize an itinerary earlier than leaving that may be signed off. In addition they demand that hospitality is both organized by the committee as a part of the programme or appropriately declared.

‘Opulent’ dinner

Newsnight has seen emails from Ms McCullough to her supervisor relating her issues.

For instance, she was anxious about who was paying for a dinner on the journey. “The chairman refused to inform me who we might be assembly or what the preparations have been past that we might be eating with Ivan, a buddy of his who was (or was once, I could not discover out) a ‘senator’,” she wrote.

However when she arrived, she found that it was what she referred to as a “giant” and “opulent” dinner, thrown within the MPs’ honour. She didn’t know who the visitors on the dinner have been.

She emailed her supervisor saying: “We did not pay – I did not know who did.”

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Ms McCullough says that when she stood as much as Mr Vaz about her issues he launched right into a “tirade” towards her in a resort foyer.

“He then demanded to know what age I used to be. He advised me that I did not understand how the Home labored and that I did not respect the authority of members – that I had an angle drawback.”

She mentioned this was when Mr Vaz advised her she was dangerous at her job as a result of she was not a mom.

After they returned, Ms McCullough’s colleagues recall Mr Vaz’s criticism of Ms McCullough being unrelenting and private.

Ms McCullough advised Newsnight that she was ultimately requested to cease coming to crew conferences, as a result of his response to her presence was too disruptive, and prevented any work from being executed by the crew.

She was ultimately moved to a different job elsewhere within the Home. However, not feeling protected at work, later selected to go away.

‘Glorious relations’

Her issues with Mr Vaz have been identified to the Home of Commons administration.

Her annual appraisal for the yr 2008 acknowledged that “Jenny had glorious relations with Dwelling Workplace officers and different witnesses, and with all of the committee aside from the chairman, who selected to attempt to bully her. Jenny understandably and correctly stood her floor, which the chairman resented.”

A consultant for Mr Vaz advised Newsnight that he denied any bullying, and mentioned: “No grievance or allegation of this nature has ever been dropped at his consideration.

“Our consumer had thought of that he and Ms McCullough had beforehand had a very good working relationship, and had all the time thought of her to be very efficient as a clerk.”

He significantly denied making mild of Ms McCullough’s origins or motherhood.

After Ms McCullough left the Home, she complained about the best way that she had been handled.

She advised Newsnight: “I did not really feel in a position to complain about Keith Vaz as a result of I used to be afraid of him. After I was on the house affairs committee I noticed that he had mates within the police and mates within the regulation.

“He mentioned that one of many principal clerks was a buddy and by the point I used to be leaving the home he had a buddy within the Speaker. I assumed it may solely finish badly for me.”

The Home of Commons advised Newsnight: “We’re conscious that previously the Home has not had a sturdy course of in place to cope with cases of bullying and harassment.

“We’re assured that our new Unbiased Complaints and Grievance Coverage will imply that allegations could be handled successfully and sensitively.”


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