SNP MP: I’ve been warned about which men to avoid in Westminster


A former Conservative minister warned a newly elected candidate Scottish MPs who should avoid ‘predatory’ men in Parliament.

It comes after Tory Backbencher Neil community resigned after admitting to watching pornography in the House of Commons.

Anum Qaisar who was elected SNP MP for Airdrie and Shotts in May 2021, said she had been told by opposition MPs which men to avoid in parliament.

She told Sky News that a former Conservative minister approached her at a parliamentary event after noting she was uncomfortable when a male politician was “too easygoing”.

I was starting to feel really uncomfortable because he was way too cocky

Airdrie and Shott’s SNP MP Anum Qaisar

She said: “Despite the fact that we have this horrible, toxic culture in Westminster, women do care about women.

“Ever since I joined Parliament, I’ve been taken aside by female MPs to warn me about some male MPs saying, ‘Actually, Anum, you’d better stay away from X, Y and Z.’

“In my situation, I was at a parliamentary event and a certain male MP approached me directly. I was starting to feel really uncomfortable because he was way too cocky.

“Actually, it was a Conservative MP – a former minister – who took me aside and said, ‘Look, you seem uncomfortable. will you stay with me It’s probably best to just stay away from this person.

Her comments follow the resignation of Mr Parish, who admitted to having seen pornography twice in the UK Parliament.

The Tiverton and Honiton MP told reporters it was a “moment of madness” that he will have to live with for the rest of his life.

Tory MP Neil Parish resigned after admitting he had seen pornography in the House of Commons (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

(PA Media)

He said: “The situation was, oddly enough, it was tractors that I was looking at.

“I came across another website with a very similar name and did a little research, which I shouldn’t have done.

“But my crime – greatest crime – is that I went in a second time on another occasion.”

The news emerged after two female colleagues said they saw Mr Parish viewing the explicit content while seated near them in the House of Commons.

He was suspended by the Conservative Party on Friday before announcing his resignation as MP over criticism.

Ms Qaisar, a former secondary school teacher, said it should not be up to women to drive change on issues such as misogyny and harassment.

“Why are women blamed? Far too often it’s women who are told, “Don’t wear skirts”. It’s women who are being told, ‘Watch what you wear,'” she said.

“We need a culture change in which men are held accountable for their own actions.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there was a “massive” culture issue in Parliament that needed to be addressed (Michal Wachucik/PA).

(PA wire)

She added that there was a culture in Westminster where the men accused of these actions would only stop if they were threatened with being thrown out of Parliament.

“In Westminster we have this culture where we vote late into the night, a high pressure environment and plenty of bars in Parliament House.

“All of these factors can predispose men, usually elected or in high office, to become predatory.”

As 15 male MPs have been referred to a parliamentary watchdog over misconduct allegations, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there was a “massive” culture issue that needed to be addressed.

She told Sophy Ridge on Sky News on Sunday that she’s been in politics for so long that she’s gotten used to the problems, but said she sympathizes with younger politicians.

She said: “It’s been really difficult to get women to come forward and stand for election because there’s a feeling that politics and public life isn’t a safe space for women anymore and we have to do something about that because we will rue the day if we continue down this path and women just don’t see the opportunity to show up and be active in politics.”

Ms Sturgeon also addressed allegations of harassment against SNP MP Patrick Grady, saying she would not “scruple” to take action depending on the outcome of an inquiry. SNP MP: I’ve been warned about which men to avoid in Westminster

Bobby Allyn

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