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MP watching porn in parliament lacks empathy for victims, CARE says

Online Safety
27 April 2022
Commons

Press release | An MP spotted watching pornography in parliament displayed a "disturbing lack of empathy for victims", campaigners say.

An investigation has been launched by the government chief whip into reports a Tory frontbencher watched porn on his phone in the Commons chamber.

Previous research demonstrated tens-of-thousands of attempts to access pornographic websites from parliamentary computers.

Social policy charity CARE, which campaigns for tougher regulation of porn, said the "harms" of porn are "truly distressing".

It added that "the political class" must take account of porn's harms and questioned "the ability of those who enjoy vile porn videos in parliament itself to do so".

Tim Cairns, Senior Policy Officer at CARE, commented:

"The idea that a member of parliament has watched pornography openly in the Chamber of the House of Commons, and potentially in other areas of the parliamentary estate, in front of colleagues shows two things.

"First, a cavalier attitude that ignores the feelings of others. Women MPs in particular are rightly aggrieved at encountering porn in their workplace. Porn is rife with misogyny and violence, and contributes to the objectification of women more widely.

"Secondly, it displays a disturbing lack of empathy for victims. The porn industry publishes videos of underage and non-consensual sex, rape, violence, and other vile behaviours. And children are damaged through encountering porn online. This MP appears not to care.

"The harms of the porn industry, and pornography consumption, are truly distressing. Our political class must recognize and take account of them and we'd question the ability of those who enjoy vile porn videos in parliament itself to do so.

"We call for tough action against any parliamentarian found watching pornography in the workplace, whatever the location and the context. The public expects more from elected representatives."

ENDS

About CARE

Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) provides analysis of social policy from a Christian perspective.

Read a recent op-ed by Ross Hendry on the links between pornography and sexual violence against women and girls:

Link between porn and violence is clear as is the need for action | CARE

For more information or to request an interview, contact Jamie Gillies | jamie.gillies@care.org.uk

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