Canterbury’s Rosie Duffield spoke out today about the horrendous bullying that she has witnessed while working in Parliament.
The Labour MP had recently spoke out in the House of Commons about her own experience of domestic abuse.
Rosie chose to re-live her horrifying experience at the hands of an abusive partner to the public last week.
She described in great detail the terrifying verbal abuse, humiliation and financial control that she was put through by her other half, and how she eventually gained the courage to leave him.
The incredibly moving speech was so emotional that it moved her colleagues to tears, and has been described as one of the most moving contributions ever given in parliament.
And today, while speaking at a Q&A session at Canterbury Christ Church Student Union, Rosie spoke out about abusive behaviour that she has witnessed while working as a politician.
“There are those of us female politicians that know things, or rumours, about certain male politicians that we can’t say out loud,” Rosie said.
“So even though we’ve broken a few of those glass ceilings, and 45% of my party are female, we still know -people that should not be there.
“They should not be allowed to have surgeries with women and children.
“And I suspect it’s just a horrible age old institutional problem that we haven’t tackled.
“People like me are banging on about it. In secret we have meetings where we try to improve things , but it’s an incredibly slow process.
“But if we’re the example, and in the House of Commons you can’t guarantee that they are safe, it’s disgusting.
“We all try to encourage women we work with to be brave, and speak out about it.
“There’s one woman I know quite well who worked for a Labour lord, and he was a complete and utter bully.
“I kept saying to her, get out of the office now. Come to my office and just sit here, and if he says anything he’s got to go through me.
“She sat in my office every day for a week. We complained to the Labour party, and in the end no one could do anything.
“And he just moved on to another member of staff.
“I’m not going to pretend it’s ok. It’s absolutely terrible.”
Rosie was also asked on why she decided to make her speech when she did.
The Canterbury MP explained that she chose to speak out after her abusive ex-partner had increased his attempts to scare her.
“There’s a lot I can’t say about why I decided to make the speech,” Rosie continued.
“One of the reasons I decided to do it when I did was because the person involved has started to step up and try to intimidate me, and I wanted to stand up and say im not frightened of you anymore.
“Also, if we just look at parliament and see people talking about statistics ain a doo-good kind of a way. Aren’t we great, were here; you people out there are the people affected by everything. That’s one thing.
“But we are the same as everyone else, and out of 650 people elected there, some of us are going to have been directly affected.
“Afterwards, you will not believe the number of people that have come up to me in private and said: “You see this scar”, or “This happened to me”.
“And it’s totally up to them to choose not to talk about this in public, and I respect that a lot, but I thought that it’s probably about time that someone said: “I do know a little bit about this. And I thought that was a bit important.
“I definitely didn’t think it would go as crazy as it did.Maybe I would have not done it if I did.
“But I’ve had so many emails, and I’ve had so many people get in touch. Which makes it kind of worth it.
“I was just as honest as I could have been without revealing too much.”