Would send terrible message Call to increase compensation cover for victims of MPs

Lindsay Hoyle says he's 'very worried about way House is going'

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Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen has written to the Speaker following the decision by the Central London Employment Tribunal to award “Ms A” £434,000 for her ordeal from disgraced former Hartlepool Labour MP Mike Hill. He warned that failing to pay the damages in full “would send a terrible message to any other MPs’ staff who find themselves in a similar situation”.

It is understood that the insurance scheme money was mostly used up in paying for the shamed ex-MPs defence and little else remains to pay the compensation.

The Central London Employment Tribunal made the award after hearing how Hill had got into bed with Ms A, rubbed his groin against her and attempted to touch her breasts.

It was told how Mr Hill told the claimant he loved her and begged her to work for him but she had rejected his unwanted advances.

He then deactivated her security pass and did not give her a promised pay rise.

In his letter to the Speaker, Mr Bridgen said: “Ms A was the victim of sexual harrassment as a result of her employment in Parliament.

“If the award is not discharged in full it would send a terrible message to any other MPs’ staff who find themselves in a similar situation.”

He urged the Speaker to raise the cover to £1 million while “capping the limit that members may use on defence costs to a fraction of this amount”.

He added: “It is essential that there is sufficient cover to support victims.”

The North West Leicestershire MP also demanded that Parliament find a way of paying Ms A’s compensation in full.

“She should not be facing penury because the policies of the House are inadequate,” he said.

“I worry that any other claims by employees that are currently in progress and upheld may suffer the same injustice.”

The compensation awarded to Ms A included £179,270 for loss of earnings and pension, £44,000 for injury to feelings, £27,000 for personal injury and £12,500 aggravated damages.

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Ms A will also receive £5,550 to pay for therapy she had for PTSD and depression and £8,500 to cover the cost of her retraining as a florist, her lawyers said.

Currently, the only way that Ms A can get her compensation is to follow a lengthy legal process of making Mr Hill bankrupt and hoping to recover the money from the sale of his assets.

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