Westminster complaints system agreed
Attending a meeting at Downing Street chaired by PM Theresa May, party leaders agreed to the implementation of a new complaints system AFP/Getty

In the wake of the ongoing Westminster sexual harassment scandal, party leaders have agreed to implement a new complaints system for staff, to be introduced in the New Year.

A meeting was held at a 10 Downing Street on Monday ( 6 November) to address the crisis, after a series of resignations from leading political figures, sparked by explosive allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Party leaders have unanimously agreed to establish a cross-party working group to implement the complaints procedure.

The new system will ensure that staff subjected to unwanted sexual advances are given greater support from human resources and will be afforded an opportunity to formally file any complaints through an independent grievance process.

In the meantime, an existing helpline will be upgraded by the end of November to provide face-to-face support for parliamentary staff to air their immediate concerns about workplace harassment.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the initiative was an "important step forward" in tackling the sexual harassment scandal at the heart of British politics to prevent any further abuse of power.

"Sadly over recent days we've seen a number of allegations about figures from across the political parties," she said.

"It's important that those are investigated impartially and some have rightly been referred to the police. I think if this hasn't happened to you it's difficult to appreciate the impact this sort of behaviour can have," she added.

"It simply has a lasting impact on people and we need to do more to stop these abuses of power."

Damian Green
First Secretary of State Damian Green vehemently denied that 'extreme porn' was found on his parliamentary computer during a 2008 police raid. Carl Court/Getty Images

The new complaints system was prompted by a slew of allegations against Government ministers, MPs and officials from across parties.

Seven Conservative MPs now face investigations or have resigned as allegations continue to spread, The Guardian noted.

First Secretary of State Damian Green is being urged to step down following allegations that "extreme porn" was discovered on his computer. Green denied the allegations as "political smears".

On Sunday (5 November), Conservative MP Christopher Pincher resigned as a government whip and referred himself to police following allegations about his conduct by a party activist.

Fallon resigned as defence secretary over his behaviour towards journalist Jane Merrick, who accused him of attempting to kiss her on the lips in 2003.

Meanwhile, Tory MPs Daniel Poulter, Stephen Crabb and Daniel Kawczynski have been referred to the Conservative Party disciplinary committee.

The Prime Minister said the allegations centred around Parliament "should be a matter of shame for us all". However she denied having knowledge of claims against Tory MPs before the scandal went public.

She said: "The allegations that have come to the fore in the last week, I've been made aware of over that time period because of things that have appeared in the press but also allegations that I've been told over the last week in private."

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Sir Michael Fallon resigned as Defence Secretary as Westminster is in the grip of numerous claims of sexual harassment Carl Court/Getty Images

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn expressed his support for the initiative,,adding that all companies, organisations and professional bodies must address the issue of workplace harassment.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: "We've agreed to set up this urgent group to represent all staff who work in this building, not just MPs and their staff.

"It's also employees of political parties, it's cleaners, it's catering workers, it's officials, it's agency staff.

"All people who work in this building deserve the knowledge they are in a safe working environment where there will be zero tolerance of bullying or harassment ... All employers have got to take this seriously," he added.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable re-iterated the sentiment saying: "These are the right first cross party steps to address harassment and abuse in Westminster.

"There needs to be a robust, independent complaints system across Parliament that offers victims a safe, non-partisan procedure."