Parliament is to create its first Register of Members’ sexual interests as an official record of MPs’ erotic preferences, sexual persuasion and extra-marital relationships.
The latest extension of the Freedom of Information act follows a number of scandals in which a politician’s public stance has clearly conflicted with the approach taken in their private lives. It is hoped that MPs’ moral positions on sexual matters will be more consistent if a list is published detailing their visits to Spearmint Rhino or hours spent on hardcore pornographic websites; and so public respect for their elected representatives will be restored.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards explained how the idea had come about; ‘The Government had just lost a big vote on the Prostitution in Public Places Bill when someone blurted out: “It’s no wonder Lanky Stephens voted against it; he’s a rampant kerb-crawler with a penchant for sado-masochism and bondage.”’ Further casual enquiries revealed that a number of the most outspoken moralists in the House of Commons who made a great show of removing prostitutes cards from Westminster telephone boxes, subsequently rang those very same numbers later in the evening.
Pressure for the register of sexual interests has come mainly from the tabloid press, who claim that such a register is ‘a matter of moral urgency’ and not at all a quick way to get loads of easy copy. But the commissioner claims that as well as stamping out conflicts of interest, the new register might spell the end for salacious tabloid headlines. ‘The next time a Lib Dem MP is snapped by a photographer from The Sun on Clapham Common with a 19 year-old call-boy called Leroy, it’ll take the wind right out of the story! He can just say I told you about this; check the register; under ‘D’ for ‘domination’.’
Members of Parliament will list their sexual activities on a special form, using a separate piece of paper if necessary. Ann Widdecombe was the first MP to enter the register. To great relief all round, her list of sexual interests simply said ‘None’.