Published: 00:00, 12 November 2017
| Updated: 10:29, 12 November 2017
The veteran Kent MP Sir Roger Gale says female journalists bear responsibility for the wave of harassment allegations made against MPs.
Sir Roger has already said that a series of allegations made against several MPs - including Ashford MP Damian Green and Dover MP Charlie Elphicke - amount to a witch hunt and that those in the spotlight are being seen as guilty before being proved innocent.
In comments to Mail Online, he said MPs were cutting back on who they met because they feared they could have the finger pointed at them.
He said: “And I’m afraid you are responsible.” Asked if he meant the media, he said: “Yes, well mainly female journalists are responsible. There are female journalists who after years have suddenly said “oh well you know I had an experience”.
“I’m sorry, where are all these people coming from who are such wilting flowers? Nobody makes a journalist go and have lunch with a Member of Parliament and drink.”
“There is no come back. Damian Green is now on the rack, for what? He is guilty until he is proved innocent.'
He said those who were found guilty of rape or sexual assault should be "locked up - and throw away the key".
But his remarks drew short shrift from Thanet Labour county councillor Karen Constantine. She told Kent Online:
“These comments show how out of touch Roger Gale is. It is an appalling attempt to normalise and minimise sexual harassment. I'm astounded by a long serving politician who would go further and blame women journalist who are doing their job.”
“What is happening in our parliament is a wake up call to modernise. This behaviour is out of date. It's doesn't serve our democracy, nor does it encourage women to get involved in politics,” she said.
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