Tory Vice Chair: Parliament has not been a good place to work

In an exclusive interview with GB News, Rachel Maclean insisted procedures are improving

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THE House of Commons has “not been in a good place to work” in the past, according to the vice-chairman of the Conservative Party.

But Rachel Maclean insisted procedures available to those who wish to make complaints about MPs have improved in recent years.

Speaking exclusively to GB News, Ms Maclean added that it remained vital to maintain “due process and justice” whenever probing allegations.

She told Gloria De Piero: “I think it's a really live issue. We've just had a by-election in Chester, where obviously someone had to stand down, so this happens across Parliament.

“I think that since I've been an MP there's been a lot done. We have made a lot of progress, and there's been some brilliant work done by Andrea Leadsom and various speakers to set up better complaints procedures because, you know, it's not been a good place to work.”

In an interview which will be broadcast this weekend on Gloria Meets, Ms Maclean, the MP for Redditch, added: “We always have to have a process. If someone is accused there has to be a process, but what I would expect is the various parties, political organisations and the parliamentary authorities need to think about safeguarding in that situation.

“It is difficult because we saw someone recently accused. And it now turns out there was no case to answer. So you've always got to get that balance right. There has to be due process and justice in this situation.”

Ms Maclean’s comments were made before reports emerged that her colleague Julian Knight has been suspended as a Conservative MP after a complaint was made to the Metropolitan Police, a party spokeswoman has said.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on the nature of the complaint as it is now under investigation.

Mr Knight, who has been an MP since 2015, chairs the culture committee in the House of Commons.

He represents the Solihull constituency in the West Midlands, but will now sit as an independent.

A spokeswoman for Chief Whip Simon Hart said: "Following a complaint made to the Metropolitan Police this evening, we have removed the whip from Julian Knight MP with immediate effect."

The chief whip is in charge of discipline within the parliamentary party. He also has the power to remove the whip from an MP, meaning they can no longer sit in Parliament as a Conservative MP.

Mr Knight becomes the fifth MP to currently have the Conservative whip removed.

As chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Mr Knight has previously commented on drafts of the online safety bill.

Watch Gloria Meets every Sunday at 6pm, only on GB News.