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UK minister, 3 MPs caught up in sexual abuse scandal

UK Prime Minister Theresa May answers questions during a weekly session in the House of Commons in central London. (AFP file photo)

Four British lawmakers have been accused of sexually abusing women at Westminster, according to a report which came as opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn warned that the abuse of women is “thriving” in the corridors of power.

Two MPs from Corbyn’s Labour Party and two from the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Theresa May have been accused of harassing and propositioning young women inappropriately, The Times reported on Saturday.  

The Conservative minister involved in the allegations, who is married, is accused of sexually harassing several women including journalists and aides.

Another married Conservative lawmaker also alleged to have abused at least two young researchers in the past few years.

On the Labour side, the report said, two lawmakers were alleged to have sent multiple inappropriate texts to at least colleagues. None of the MPs, however, have been named.

The report came at the same day Corbyn said in a speech that politicians engaged in sexual abuse and harassment must be held accountable.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during a meeting of the Party of European Socialists (PES) in Brussels, on October 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

He said there is a “warped and degrading culture” - where the abuse of women is accepted and normalized and is thriving in the corridors of power, including Westminster.

A government spokeswoman also said earlier that the prime minister has expressed concern about the recent allegation made against the MPs.

May has also urged victims of sexual harassment and abuse to go to the police, according to her spokeswoman, who said that the government was not aware of any allegations having been formally reported.

The issue of sexual abuse has come to the fore after a recent report said female researchers, aides and secretaries are sharing information on a WhatsApp group about their experiences of harassment and warn others about potential perpetrators.

Earlier this week, a BBC survey found out that half of British women and a fifth of men have been sexually harassed at work or a place of study.

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