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British lawmaker singled out for alleged porn

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LONDON — A lawmaker from Britain’s ruling Conservative Party has been suspended after colleagues called him out for allegedly viewing pornography on his phone in the House of Commons.

Party officials charged with overseeing discipline said Friday that Neil Parish has been suspended from the Conservative parliamentary bloc while the House Standards Committee conducts its investigation. He will continue to serve as a legislator, but as an independent.

Parish, 65, has represented a district in the south-west of England in the lower house since 2010 and chairs the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

Allegations of sexual misconduct are common in British politics. Known for its macho, party-loving atmosphere, Parliament has gotten better at diversity, but lawmakers and staff say harassment and questionable conduct remain prevalent under a system that allows lawmakers to regulate themselves.

Days ago, lawmakers reacted with outrage when an anonymous Conservative accused Labor bloc deputy chairwoman Angela Rayner of trying to “distract” the prime minister during debates by crossing and uncrossing her legs.

In addition to Parish, three other Conservative MPs are suspended by the party due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

These allegations of sexism add to the problems of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose job has been in jeopardy since he was fined by police for attending a party in 2020 that violated quarantine rules imposed by his own government during the pandemic.

Next Thursday there will be local elections throughout the United Kingdom, in which voters will be able to express their feelings.

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