CHILDREN’S Minister Will Quince MP said he was angry and appalled by the allegations of sexual abuse that have been levelled against the former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.
In an interview on GB News, Mr Quince also denied that the Government was “wheeling out” junior minister to defend it in the media.
He said: “I was booked in four days ago to talk about childcare in early years, the announcement we’re making today, but if you’re asking me if I’m angry, of course I’m angry.
“I’m shocked and appalled at the allegations that that have come out and I think they do a huge disservice to the many hundreds of members of Parliament and the support staff that go to work every day working day in day out to try and improve the lives of their constituents and people up and down this country.
“The allegations of this nature, which you know, over the past few months and years have been made against members of Parliament from different political parties, of course, erode trust and confidence in our politics.
“That’s why it’s so important that we to get together collectively call out this atrocious and appalling behaviour wherever we see it and we create an environment where people feel safe and able to come forward and make complaints so appropriate action and disciplinary action investigations can follow.”
Asked by Eamonn Homes if he was aware of Mr Pincher’s reputation, Mr Quince said: “I’ve deliberately over the past seven years in Parliament tried to stay away from gossip and rumour and speculation which you’ll know is right and always has been.
“What we’ve got to do is what we’ve got to do, Eamonn, is to ensure that people feel safe and able to come forward.
“And I think if you look at some of the allegations that have been made, be they from parliamentary staffers, or indeed from members of parliament who have been victims, this is what this is really about.”
He added: “We’ve got to make sure that we create a safe environment for them to come forward and make complaints where they’re not going to be splashed across the media, where they’re not going to be splashed all over social media, that they feel that they can have their confidential confidentiality and anonymity protected to be able to make those complaints.
“And whether it’s in Parliament or in schools or in professional environments up and down the country, people have to feel able to report and challenge inappropriate behaviour so due process and investigations and then disciplinary action can follow.”