Conduct Committee
The conduct of Baroness Tonge

10th Report of Session 2019-21 - ordered to be printed 24 March 2021 - HL Paper 261

Report from the Conduct Committee


Facts of the case

The Committee’s considerations

Appendix 1: Transcript of Soundcloud interview with complainant

Appendix 2: Social media exchanges

Appendix 3: Further Social Media Exchanges

Annex A: Report from the Commissioner for Standards

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Executive summary

Box 1: Letter of 17 July 2018

Box 2: Statement of 18 July 2018

Key questions

Summary of findings and outcome

Chapter 3: Relevant aspects of the Code

Views and opinions

Fairness and natural justice

External investigator

Parliamentary Behaviour Code and the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords

Definitions of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct

Chapter 4: Ms Fofanah’s complaint and Baroness Tonge’s response

Ms Fofanah’s complaint

Baroness Tonge’s initial written response


Chapter 5: Process and chronology of the investigation

Identifying the respondent

Preliminary assessment


Chapter 6: Was Baroness Tonge justified in wishing to make her and the APPG’s position on FGM clear?

Analysis and conclusion

Chapter 7: Was Baroness Tonge’s method of making her and the APPG’s position on FGM clear appropriate?

The evidence supporting the allegations made by VW and ZA

Ms Fofanah’s views on FGM

Broader context of the FGM stakeholder community

The number and content of emails being sent to Baroness Tonge’s office

Wording of the letter copied to VW and ZA

Wording of the statement


Chapter 8: Impact of Baroness Tonge’s conduct on Ms Fofanah



Chapter 9: Other matters arising during the investigation

That the criticisms of Ms Fofanah arose out of her decision to post a photo of her with Baroness Tonge

That Ms Fofanah had bullied LM and PQ

That Ms Fofanah had been dishonest

Chapter 10: Findings

Did Baroness Tonge’s conduct amount to bullying?

Chapter 11: Outcome

Did Baroness Tonge intend to bully Ms Fofanah?

Would remedial action be an appropriate outcome?

Recommended sanction

Appendix 1: Factual report

Appendix 2: Views on FGM

Appendix 3: Responses to the draft factual report

Appendix 4: Submission on sanction

Appendix 5: Principles relating to investigations and outcome

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