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Tory MP blames female journalists for Westminster sex scandal and describes harassment victims as 'wilting flowers'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 10/11/2017 Patrick Grafton-Green
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A veteran Tory MP has allegedly blamed female journalists for the Westminster sex scandal and described victims of sexual harassment as “wilting flowers”.

Sir Roger Gale, who has previously described the scandal as a “witch hunt”, said politicians were being treated as “guilty” and put "on the rack”.

He added that it is the decision of journalists, now speaking out about alleged incidents that happened years ago, to wine and dine MPs.

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It comes as Parliament continues to be rocked by a series of allegations of sex abuse and sleaze, with several Conservative and Labour MPs being investigated over alleged sexual misconduct.

Sir Michael Fallon quit as Defence Secretary last week after it emerged he had repeatedly put his hand on a journalist's knee during a party conference dinner in 2002.

Mr Gale told MailOnline: “Well mainly female journalists are responsible.

“There are female journalists who after years have suddenly said ‘oh well you know I had an experience...'

Video: Party leaders agree new safeguards to tackle Westminster sleaze (PA)

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“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.”

Mr Green, Theresa May’s second-in-command, has denied a claim that police found pornographic material on a computer in his Westminster office during a raid in 2008.

Sir Roger added that he has stopped allowing interns to work for him over fears he could leave himself open to baseless allegations.

The MP for North Thanet has previously urged people “not to rush to judgement” over the scandal.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last week: "I don't think there's anybody who would seek to defend rape or sexual abuse in the context there's no proof that I can see yet of any wrongdoing.

“How does a member of Parliament refute that?"

The Standard has approached Mr Gale for further comment.

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