Prime Minister takes ‘personal interest’ in tackling sexual harassment problem

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PRIME Minister David Cameron says he is taking personal interest in whether a new ombudsman should be created to help tackle problems of sexual harassment in the military.

Mr Cameron said although progress had been made there was more work to be done on addressing the issue.

The Defence Select Committee has called for the government to axe the service complaints commissioner role, which cannot actively investigate allegations, and replace it with an armed forces ombudsman that could hold the services to account.

The committee’s Tory chairman James Arbuthnot raised the issue of sexual harassment in the forces with Mr Cameron during the Prime Minister’s appearance before the Liaison Committee.

Mr Cameron, above, told him: ‘One of the things we are doing is to look at the evidence. We collect those figures, the most recent figures have seen a drop in the number of complaints.

‘We have got now more female two-star officers in the UK armed forces for the first time. We had a review that was commissioned by the last government in 2009 that looked at this.

‘I think there is more work to be done. But I think we are making progress.’

He added that the Royal British Legion had taken up the issue and he would also listen to military figures who had voiced concerns about how such a role could affect the chain of command.

Mr Cameron said: ‘There were quite ingrained problems that needed to be addressed and so a lot of work is being done.’