SEX education must urgently be introduced in all schools to help stamp out harassment in the wake of a mounting scandal at Westminster, an MP has said.

Layla Moran, who represents Oxford West and Abingdon, said she had experienced inappropriate remarks and touching in the past.

In recent days a number of claims have been made about MPs – including Government ministers – harassing colleagues, aides and journalists.

Ms Moran said she has been appalled by the claims and is among the MPs pushing for change.

She said: “I’m sorry to say I am not surprised.

"This kind of behaviour is rife in all political parties.

“In my early career I was privy to some of it, and am good friends with others who had it much worse.

“The point we need to remember is that this happens in environments when there are big disparities in power, especially in arenas that have poor gender balance.

“I should add it is equally unacceptable if it were a female in the position of power.”

Ms Moran said she had been subjected to inappropriate comments and in one case touching, which she said she shut down and reported immediately.

Following several accounts of harassment that have come to light in recent days Theresa May has called for a new independent helpline.

Ms Moran said that plans announced by the Government in March to make sex and relationship education compulsory in all schools in England should be brought before Parliament as soon as possible.

She said that doing so would help tackle sexual harassment more widely in society.

Ms Moran added: “Parliament leads by example.

"It is right that it is stamped out, but also we cannot ignore this is an issue rife in society at large.

“We must also recognise that without teaching sex and relationship education in schools, and encouraging parents talk openly with their children about consent and respect, then we are only ever applying a sector by sector sticking plaster.”

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis did not say whether she had experienced inappropriate behaviour, but spoke out against it.

She said: “There is no justification for this kind of behaviour in any situation.

“MPs’ staff have always been a bit of an anomaly. It is essential they feel able to report instances of harassment and inappropriate conduct."