WHAT started as a trickle of allegations about inappropriate sexual behaviour in Westminster has now become a flood.

With every new day there seems to be different claims about some of those elected to serve the public.

Is it important to remember that while those accused of varying levels of harassment and abuse have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, it is equally important that victims are believed, and feel able to come forward without the fear of their careers being damaged or having their lives picked over in the press.

The bid to downplay the scandal started at the weekend, with one veteran Tory MP claiming it was a witch-hunt. And on the BBC’s flagship satirical show Have I Got News For You, host Jo Brand was forced to rebuke the panel after journalist Ian Hislop referred to some of the allegations as “not high level crime”.

She told them: “If I can just say – as the only representative of the female gender here today – I know it’s not high-level, but it doesn’t have to be high-level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons.

“Actually, women, if you’re constantly being harassed, even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down.”

She has been rightly applauded for the putdown but should not have had to make it in the first place.

Where a culture exists that sweeps supposed ‘low-level’ harassment under the carpet, it is not exactly a leap to see how some could be emboldened into more serious abuse.

This is not so much a witch-hunt as a long overdue resetting of professional boundaries, not just in Westminster but in workplaces up and down the country.