Labour MP Chris Bryant shocked the Commons as he revealed a Daily Mail reporter once came up to him in a bar to tell him bets were being taken on his suicide.
There were audible gasps as he recounted the incident, which happened in 2003, during a statement on action being taken to combat harassment in Parliament.
The Rhondda MP said: “I remember in 2003 a journalist from the Mail on Sunday coming up to me in Strangers bar saying ‘We’re all taking bets on when you will commit suicide – I hope it’ll be before Christmas’.”
He later corrected the story and said it was in fact a Daily Mail reporter who had spoken to him.
Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom, who was reporting the findings of the first meeting of a cross-party working group set up in the wake of harassment allegations in Westminster, said she was “so sorry” to hear of the incident.
Leadsom said counselling services would be made available to all Parliamentary staff and a new service to offer support and advice around bullying and harassment would be set up “as a matter of urgency”.
Labour MP Jess Phillips and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said it was vital the new service addressed the issue of sexual harassment directly and did not simply “re-nose” current anti-bullying policy.
Leadsom said a further report would be made to the House before the Christmas recess.
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