SENIOR MPs have rejected calls for Parliament’s bars to be closed in the wake of misconduct scandals.

It comes after Chris Pincher, MP for Tamworth in Staffordshire, quit as Tory deputy chief whip after being accused of drunkenly groping two men at a private members’ club in London.

Fresh allegations have been reported in the Independent, the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Times – including claims Pincher made unwanted advances to male MPs in a bar in Parliament and in his own parliamentary office. No official complaints have been lodged.

There are several bars within the Houses of Parliament estate, including the Woolsack and Strangers’ Bar.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: “I think, in terms of Parliament’s bars, we have a particular sort of working hours and a lot of these situations you’re referring to I don’t think happened in the bars.

“That’s a matter, I guess, for discussion in Parliament but we’ve already reduced the number of drinking and eating outlets in Parliament.”

The National: Chris Pincher is the subject of multiple allegations Chris Pincher is the subject of multiple allegations

READ MORE: Boris Johnson 'unaware' of groping claim before appointing MP as chief whip

Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said he does not believe the parliamentary bars are the issue.

The Labour MP told Sky News: “I don’t think Parliament has the kind of modern workplace culture that it should have, I think there’s further to go on that.

“But I would just say, if you look at these particular incidents, actually few of them are in Parliament itself, so for me it comes down to something bigger than the hospitality arrangements.

“It’s about power, it’s about accountability, it’s about the standards that are set by the leader of each political party, and I cannot see Boris Johnson as being the kind of person to somehow improve the culture of the Conservative Party.”

Pressed on whether there is a need to shut Parliament’s bars, Reynolds said there is “only one major bar for Members of Parliament, there’s one for staff as well”, before adding: “I don’t think that is the issue.

“You could shut every bar in Westminster but if you’ve got a Conservative Party that does not take these issues seriously, that gives people a get-out-of-jail-free card…”

Reynolds was interrupted and told a drinking culture is effectively encouraged due to the bars, with the Labour MP replying: “I wouldn’t say it’s encouraged; most people are doing an incredibly professional job, and – for instance – there’s a bar for staff members. I think that is, to be honest, absolutely fine. What I’m trying to say to you is this is not the core of the issue.”