An MP who was suspended for sexually harassing a member of staff defended his record today as he advertised a vacancy at his office.
Rob Roberts is searching for a Senior Parliamentary Assistant on a salary of between £36,575 and £52,067.
The Member for Delyn dismissed rumours that he is trying to solve a ‘recruitment crisis’ in the wake of his suspension from Parliament following an investigation which found he had breached the Houses’ sexual misconduct policy.
He is searching for an aide whose duties will include undertaking research, attending meetings, monitoring the MP’s inboxes and acting as a ‘peer mentor for junior researcher’.
Required attributes include a minimum of two years working in Parliament, a high level of organisation and ‘outstanding written and verbal communication skills’.
The new starter will also need to be ‘sympathetic to the aims and values of the Conservative Party’, although Mr Roberts is currently suspended.
The matters came to light after a former employee reported him to Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) for sexual misconduct.
In June 2020, the complainant alleged that the MP had made ‘repeated and unwanted sexual advances’, which included ‘inappropriate comments of a sexual nature’, according to the subsequent report.
In May this year, the Independent Expert Panel rejected an appeal by the MP and concluded that he had breached Westminster’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Behaviour Code. He was suspended from the House of Commons for six weeks.
Mr Roberts was also suspended from the Conservative Party for 12 weeks.
He is advertising on the Work4MP website amid a rumoured ‘staffing crisis’ in his office, according to The Spectator.
The magazine quoted one former employee of Mr Roberts saying: ‘It’s no wonder he is having difficulties hiring people – the more surprising thing is the fact that he’s still an MP.’
In an email, Mr Roberts told usnewsrank.com: ‘I have four staff. One of them is moving shortly to work for her local MP (perfectly understandable) and I am seeking a replacement.
‘The salary bands are set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, not individual MPs. The job advert has been live for less than 24 hours. Hardly a “recruitment crisis”.’
Asked by usnewsrank.com if the code breach called into question his standing as a fit and proper employer, Mr Roberts replied: ‘I have four staff. They have all been with me for more than a year, two of them since my election. I have run my own business and employed people for a long time. That’s all.’
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