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UK Prime Minister Theresa May pledges to tackle sexual harassment

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the Confederation of British Industry's annual conference in London, Britain, November 6, 2017. (photo by AFP)

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced new measures to counter sexual harassment amid growing abuse allegations against senior UK politicians.

Leaders of the main political parties have agreed to new proposals to combat sexual abuse, which will include, improved human resources support, an independent grievance process and the establishment of a working group to implement the changes.

May told reporters on Monday that the agreement with head of the main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn and other leaders was an “important step forward.”

"The fact that they have taken place here at our seat of democracy should be a matter of shame for us all," she said. "We've taken an important step forward today. It's important we get this right and that is what I intend to do.”

May said the new measures will be put in place by next year.

Corbyn said the leaders had agreed that any form of harassment or bullying was completely unacceptable “in this workplace or indeed in any other workplace in the country.”

As May seeks to shore up her shaky administration, critics are warning of more damaging news to come.

So far, four British lawmakers have faced accusations of sexual abuse at Westminster.

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Two lawmakers from the Labour Party and two from the Conservative Party had been accused of harassing and propositioning young women inappropriately.

Last week, a British activist from Labour Party, Bex Bailey, said she had been raped at a political event in 2011, but then was urged not to report it in order to save her job.

UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon also resigned last week from his position after accepting his misconduct toward a female journalist in the past.

Meanwhile, the body of a British politician who resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct has been found in his home.

Carl Sargeant who was a member of the Welsh government stepped down on November 4 after it was revealed that a number of women have accused him of improper behavior. He was also suspended from the Labour Party.

A new survey by the BBC found that 53 percent of women and 20 percent of men in the UK said they had been sexually harassed at work or a place of study.

Women in the US and UK have recently been coming forward to share encounters of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, including in the media and entertainment industries and the realm of politics.

Recent sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein has led to an avalanche of complaints against other high-profile men in a variety of industries in the US and UK.

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