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Tory MP Anna Soubry says Deputy PM Damian Green should be suspended from the party

Conservative MP Anna Soubry has called for the Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green to be suspended from the party pending investigation for alleged sexual harassment.

The move comes after Green was implicated in the now infamous ‘Tory Sex Pest Dossier’ which named 40 Tory MPs, many of whom are alleged to have committed inappropriate sexual conduct, as well as documenting compromising personal information on many other senior Tory MPs.

Despite the dossier initially being published with names redacted, Damian Green was personally implicated after his personal email address was uncovered during the Ashley Madison leak.

And now, Green has been accused of behaving inappropriately towards journalist Kate Maltby, by allegedly touching her knee and sending her a ‘suggestive’ text message.

Conservative First Secretary of State Green strenuously denies the allegations, describing them as “untrue” and “deeply hurtful”.

However, Green’s Conservative colleague Anna Soubry – a notoriously straight-talking Tory MP who previously worked as a criminal barrister – has called for the Deputy Prime Minister to be suspended from the party pending an investigation.

Soubry stated on Twitter that “the procedure in any other organisation or business” is to suspend employees whilst an investigation takes place.

After being rebuked by Conservative member Damien McCabe on Twitter about her comments, Soubry clarified her statement, saying that those denying Green should be suspended pending investigation did not understand how ordinary employment law works:

However, another Twitter user and presumed Tory supporter Justin Lavender, described Soubry’s comments as ‘disgraceful’ and said that the Tory MP was just ‘trying to make a name’ for herself.

Soubry went on to say that “suspension is seen as a neutral act” and confirmed that the process is not intended to infer guilt, but merely to protect all those involved:

Conversely, the Labour Party acted quickly in withdrawing the whip from Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara after he was exposed making inappropriate and derogatory comments online a number of year ago.

With Labour having set the precedent for incidents such as this, the onus is now on the Tory Party to follow suit and investigate allegations properly and promptly.

However, with scores of Tory MPs being accused of inappropriate behaviour on the recently leaked sex pest list, it is unlikely that the Tory party would want to face losing their slim majority in Parliament by suspending MPs pending investigation.

Undeterred by the potentially negative impact on the party, Anna Soubry insisted that suspending MPs pending investigation is the right thing to do, and confirmed that rather than doing the wrong thing in the interest of the party, she was “going to stay true to what I believe in”:

What this proves is that some Tory politicians do actually have principles – much to the chagrin, presumably, of Theresa May and her increasingly fragile front bench.

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