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Parliament appears to have a problem with drug use, says shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said.

The Conservatives removed the whip from David Warburtonthe MP for Somerton and Frome, who is said to face allegations of sexual harassment, cocaine use and failure to report a loan of Roman Zhukovskya financial advisor specializing in offshore tax advice and providing Tier 1 ‘gold’ investor visas to foreign citizens.

Asked on Times Radio how widespread cocaine abuse is in parliament and if she has seen it, the Labor MP said:

I don’t know how widespread it is. Personally, I have never witnessed this, but there seems to be a problem with it happening.

I think what troubles me the most are the ongoing issues with sexual harassment. We now have an independent process in Parliament, and I think that’s a welcome step. I think it’s vital that people who have concerns and who have complaints come forward, that those complaints are taken seriously and that action is taken.

Those who want to file a complaint can be assured that there will now be an appropriate process and action will follow when complaints are upheld.


The Welsh secretary said he was a “strong advocate” for MPs to be able to employ their spouses after the Tory MP’s wife. David Warburton – who works in his office – said she was supporting him after allegations of drug use and sexual harassment.

Simon Hart – who also employs his wife – was asked on Times Radio whether MPs should be allowed to give jobs to family members.

Harriet WarburtonWarburton’s position has sparked questions due to allegations of sexual harassment by two parliamentary staff, according to the Sunday Times, which reported that the staff had to leave his office because Warburton was handling the human ressources.

Hart said:

I think that’s actually quite insulting to so many husbands, wives and partners who do a very good job in Parliament, work very hard and give the taxpayer real value for money.

He compared the situation to family businesses and added:

In all the circumstances that I know of where a Member works closely with or pays a member of his family, whether in this Parliament or in others, in fact the relationship – the professional relationship – is really productive , if anything, this taxpayer gets more for their money than they (would) anyway because it’s a 24/7 arrangement.

He said there was “nothing new about it” and added:

Since I became a member of Parliament I have been a strong advocate for this particular situation, I continue to be, I think it is a lot of nonsense to suggest that there is something wrong or to say that does not give value to money. I think that is patently false.


Ukraine war helped ‘contextualise’ partygate saga, Welsh secretary says Simon Hart noted.

Speaking on TalkRadio he said:

Looking at how this interview started and what we’re seeing in Ukraine helps put it all in context in my head.

And I think we are now dealing with something of such gravity and such horror that what happened maybe two years ago clearly needs to be dealt with, and should be – it’s is still a source of irritation for a lot of people – but I’m glad this thing is now coming to a conclusion.


Minister says now is not the time to ‘compete in the direction of self-indulgence’

Nicholas Slawson

Now is not the time to embark on a ‘complacent leadership race’ if Boris Johnson is fined over the partygate scandal, a minister has said.

Yesterday it was revealed that Downing Street staff had been fined by police for a party which took place the day before Prince Philip’s funeral, in Scotland Yard’s first ruling that Covid laws had been breached inside No. 10 at the heart of government.

The partygate scandal made headlines with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the issue has gained renewed attention since police began issuing fines.

Asked if the Prime Minister should resign if he is fined, the Welsh secretary Simon Hart told Sky News he thinks ‘the world has come a considerable distance’.

He said “of course” it didn’t sit well with him that parties had been held in Downing Street during the Covid restrictions.

Hart was asked if the Prime Minister should resign if fined in the partygate saga, but Hart told Sky News:

I have 65,000 constituents in West Wales, where I represent, and they are quick to come forward and express their views on this and a number of other issues.

And throughout this saga of the Downing Street parties, they’ve made one thing very clear, and overwhelmingly they’re saying they want contrition and they want an apology, but they don’t want resignation.

Last week Scotland Yard issued 20 fixed penalty notices to people who attended parties in Downing Street and Whitehall during lockdown.

Welcome to Today’s Politics Live Blog. I am Nicholas Slawson and I’m going to take the lead today. You can contact me on Twitter (@Nicola_Slawson) or email ( if you have any questions or think I’m missing something.

We also have a blog dedicated to Ukraine, which you can follow here:

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