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Earlier, the PM's official spokesman was asked if Mrs May had 'confidence' in the trade minister, her spokesman said: 'There is an investigation the Prime Minister has asked for which is being conducted by the Cabinet Office.'The spokesman refused repeatedly to express confidence in Mr Garnier and did not rebut suggestions her confidence was dependant on the investigation outcome.
He said: 'She has been clear any unwanted sexual behaviour is completely unacceptable in any walk of life and she strongly believes those who work in Parliament are treated properly and fairly as would be expected in any modern workplace.'That is why she has written to the Speaker to ask for his support in what can be done to ensure the reputation of Parliament is not damaged by these allegations of impropriety.'Asked if the Prime Minister would expect ministers to resign if allegations were proved, the spokesman added: 'The Prime Minister has been clear that this type of behaviour would be inappropriate if proven and appropriate action would be taken.'Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler called for Mr Crabb and Mr Garnier to have the Tory whip suspended.
She criticised the disciplinary procedure operated by Commons watchdog Ipsa, because it was not compulsory for MPs to sign up.
'It does not have the required teeth as contractually an MP does not have to follow the procedure,' she added.
MPs employ their own staff, but the Commons overhauled its procedures several years ago in a bid to offer around 2,000 House officials more protection from abuse by politicians.
The 'Respect' policy allows for cases against MPs to be taken to the standards committee and ruling House of Commons commission if disciplinary action is deemed to be required.
Both privately insist no allegations have been put to them.
Separately, former Cabinet minister Stephen Crabb has admitted sending explicit messages to a 19-year-old woman after a job interview in Parliament.
Tory aides have put together the dirty dossier which includes the specific details of the accusations inappropriate or even criminal behaviour at work.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman made clear today that she would not hesitate to punish MPs found to have behaved inappropriately.
But when staff were asked for their views, the idea produced complaints from women and from men worried about how female colleagues would be affected.
Details revealed under freedom of information rules highlighted concerns MPs already 'harass' and 'abuse' them, and forcing people to wear name badges would make things worse.