MORE than 24,000 attempts were made to access pornographic websites from devices in the Houses of Parliament since the General Election, according to official data.

A total of 24,473 attempts represents an average of around 160 requests per day from computers and other devices connected to the parliamentary network – which is used by MPs, peers and staff – between June and October last year.

The figures come amid a sexual harassment scandal in Westminster, and Prime Minister Theresa May fired her de facto deputy Damian Green last month after he made “misleading” statements about allegations that police found pornography on computers in his parliamentary office in 2008.

In his resignation letter, Green continued to deny what he called “unfounded and deeply hurtful” claims that he downloaded or viewed the material.

The data was revealed following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, and shows a spike in attempts to visit the sites in September, with 9467 requests from both the Houses of Lords and Commons that month.

However, parliamentary authorities say the majority of attempts are not deliberate.

The figures also show a sharp decrease in the number of attempts to access pornographic websites in recent years.

In 2016, the parliamentary filtering system blocked a total of 113,208 attempts, down from 213,020 the previous year.

Parliamentary authorities could not provide figures for January and February last year because of changes in technology and the way the data is held, but the available data showed there were 30,876 attempts from March to October.

During this period, parliament was dissolved from late April to early June ahead of the General Election, and MPs were away during the summer recess from the end of July to early September.

A parliamentary spokesman said of the figures: “All pornographic websites are blocked by Parliament’s computer network.

“The vast majority of ‘attempts’ to access them are not deliberate. The data shows ‘requests’ to access websites, not visits to them.

“There are 8500 computers on the parliamentary network, which are used by MPs, peers, their staff and staff of both Houses.

“This data also covers personal devices used when logged on to Parliament’s guest Wi-Fi.”

A separate FOI request showed there were also at least 2,751,755 attempts to access blocked websites on the parliamentary network from January to October this year.

Meanwhile, a former senior officer denied that a popular parliamentary bar is a “den of iniquity”.

David Leakey, who left the Black Rod parliamentary post at the end of last year, described the Sports and Social Club as “really well-run” and a civilised place for a drink.

He also said he does not believe allegations of sexual harassment in Westminster are “necessarily directly linked to a drinking culture”.

The Sports and Social Club is one of the Palace of Westminster’s busiest bars and is popular with parliamentary researchers.

It was announced in November that responsibility for the bar would be taken in-house in an effort to clamp down on drink-fuelled inappropriate behaviour.

The bar was also temporarily closed after an altercation involving two members of parliamentary staff last month.

Asked during a radio interview if there was a drinking culture at Westminster, linked with bad behaviour and allegations of sexual harassment, Leakey replied: “I don’t think the allegations of sexual harassment is necessarily directly linked to a drinking culture. These are isolated incidents.

“It’s a perfectly civilised working place for 99 per cent of the people for 99 per cent of the time and I think what goes on in Parliament is probably not that much different from what goes on in other well-regulated working places.”