Think tank boss claims Chris Pincher story is a 'big fuss about ...
BBC

A head of the think tank Policy Exchange and journalist has claimed that the story about Chris Pincher allegedly sexually harassing people is “a great big fuss about not very much”.

The former Conservative Government Deputy Chief Whip Pincher has been accused of groping and making unwanted sexual advances toward multiple men, with allegations spanning over a decade. Pincher resigned from his position on Firday and eventually had the whip removed by Boris Johnson.

Speaking on BBC’s Politics Live, guest David Goodhart, Head of Policy Exchange's Demography, Immigration, and Integration Unit, appeared to downplay the accusations.

Goodhart said: “I have to admit I haven't really been following this story [Chris Pincher] story before today and part of me is inclined to say it's a great big fuss about not very much.”

A surprised Jo Coburn replied, “really?”

Goodhart continued: “Yes, in the sense that we have no allegations of any sort of serious assault. There has been no power imbalance, this is one of the major issues when something like this crops up.”

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

He went on: “I think the problem is for the Tory party is that something like this immediately becomes an issue about Boris Johnson, what did he know, when did he know it?”

Goodhart argued that if it weren’t for “question marks” around Johnson’s own behaviour, it’s an issue that “in normal times would have just been dismissed”.

The former Prospect editor also claimed that “Westminster has lots of people with big egos, and big libidos – a degree of sexual incontinence”.

Fellow panel guest and Labour MP Fleur Anderson argued that attitudes like that cannot go on as they allow abuse to occur.

Anderson said: “This kind of attitude cannot continue – ‘It’s ok in some circumstances’. No, it’s never ok for sexual harassment to take place, so it should be called out everywhere.

“It should be called out across the whole country, but more than ever… in parliament where we should be setting the highest standards.

“Standards have slipped so far that we say, ‘oh, it’s ok sometimes’. No, we cannot accept that.”

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)