Not for the first time Westminster finds itself enmeshed in controversy. The swirl of sexual harassment claims that have engulfed British politics in recent weeks continue to spiral, with the depressing likelihood of more to come.
MPs have, of course, faced opprobrium before. The word “sleaze” became synonymous with the last Tory government in the 1990s, while the 2009 expenses scandal triggered public outrage from which Parliament’s reputation has still not fully recovered.
Now Parliament finds itself shamed once again amid a wave of harassment allegations made by women. It has thrown politics into turmoil, raising serious concerns over the personal conduct of some individuals and highlighting the glaring inadequacies of a working environment without a proper grievance system in place to deal with these claims effectively.
Theresa May will today meet fellow party leaders to discuss the crisis and together they must come to a consensus for this is far more than just a party political issue.
Sexual harassment of any kind must not be tolerated and the public rightly expects the highest standards of probity, especially from its elected lawmakers.
However, we should not be lulled into thinking this is a problem confined to the sometimes arcane world of Westminster. The harrowing details that have emerged from the Harvey Weinstein scandal reveal that a culture of misogyny is still deeply ingrained in certain industries.
At the same time, while it must be remembered that the vast majority of MPs are hard-working and selfless individuals, there is no escaping the fact that these latest allegations of improper behaviour are a body blow to politics in this country.
Our elected lawmakers ought to be the best among us, yet how many parents today would encourage their sons or daughters to pursue a career in politics?