POLITICIANS have condemned the bullying and harassment of MPs’ staff revealed in a new report, branding it “Parliament’s dirty secret.”

An inquiry by senior lawyer Gemma White QC shed light on a culture of MPs persistently abusing their assistants.

Her report gave shocking details of sexual harassment, including “breasts being grabbed, buttocks being slapped, thighs being stroked and crotches being pressed or rubbed against bodies.”

She found widespread evidence of intimidation, aggression, and even heavy office equipment being thrown in anger at aides.

MP for Kemptown Lloyd Russell-Moyle said: “It’s always shocking to hear allegations of bullying and harassment, especially in your own workplace. But sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard these claims.

“The report needs to taken seriously and the recommendations implemented in full. MPs should be setting the standards for what it is to be a good employer, not trailing behind.”

The report suggested that for some MPs, the behaviour was “part of a course of conduct.”

One parliamentary assistant, who asked not to be named, said: “Everything in the report is true. I know of plenty of things about sexual harassment in MPs’ offices, like interns being made to do inappropriate stuff with senior staff. We are shouted at, bullied, fired for refusing to work overtime, and even forced to clean MPs’ houses.

“There’s no proper process for dealing with this — it feels like we have no rights.

“In one job, I would break down in tears twice a week. You tolerate it because your career hangs in balance.”

MPs are set to vote next week on extending investigations to include historic allegations.

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said: “Bullying, harassment and sexual harassment have been Parliament’s dirty secret for far too long now and it’s very welcome to see yet more light being shone on the problem.

“I’ve long called for on allowing historic cases to be heard, a strong sanctions regime and ensuring full independence of the complaints mechanism from MPs.”

Hove MP Peter Kyle said: “I have witnessed bullying and harassing behaviour by MPs. It disgusted me. I’m pleased that sexual harassment has been focused upon in recent years, but this report is important because all forms of harassment and bullying must be tackled.’’