NOBODY will have missed the fact that the serious issue of sexual harassment moved the spotlight from Hollywood to Westminster this week, writes JUSTIN TOMLINSON.

It is already clear that the system needs to change to enable people who have been victims of sexual assault or harassment to come forward.

It simply cannot be allowed to continue and people in positions of power should not be allowed to think that they are exempt from common decency and respect.

We should also distinguish between general gossip and serious concerns.

By mixing the two we risk alienating victims of abuse or harassment which prevents them from coming forward due to concerns about not being taken seriously.

My partner Katie and I are very happy together. Like many other people both in Parliament and in the real world we met through work. We have done nothing wrong and we were upset and baffled to have appeared on the list of Conservative MPs this week, simply to say we are a couple.

There are 160 couples in Parliament, yet for some reason only a few were listed. The newspapers did make it clear we had done nothing wrong, but not everyone reads the details and inevitably stories like this cause a lot of upset.

Importantly, it distracts attention away from the more serious issues and the real victims of potential wrong-doing.

Any unwanted sexual behaviour is completely unacceptable. People who work in Parliament – or anywhere else – should be treated with respect.

And I welcome the fact that the Prime Minister has invited all party leaders to a meeting next week to discuss establishing a common, transparent and independent grievance procedure.

Last week I welcomed the news that the UK has the lowest tax gap in the world, after falling to an all-time low of six per cent.

The tax gap is the difference between how much tax is due and how much is collected by the treasury and, thanks to the Government, it is the lowest it has ever been.

In the last seven years the Government has introduce 75 measures to tackle avoidance, evasion and non-compliance.

The result of these measures has been an extra £160bn in additional tax revenue – which can now be spent on public services like the NHS and schools.

The issue of tax avoidance is one I am very familiar with from my time on the Public Accounts Committee – which published a report into tax avoiding companies.

In my role as a member of the committee I grilled these companies, holding meetings with senior figures from companies like Amazon, challenging them about their tax arrangements.

It is simply not acceptable for companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

I used to run my own business in Swindon, I paid all my taxes and I do not see why it should be any different for Starbucks, Amazon or Google.

When they don’t pay, it means we all have to pay more and that is not fair.

I am very proud of the work the government has done to clamp down on tax avoiders. Had the tax gap stayed at the level it was pre-2010, the country would be £68bn poorer.