After a separate probe into Geraint Davies’ accusations, a woman who was frequently sexually assaulted by a Labour MP called the party’s complaints procedures “fake” and “a political stunt.”
Last year, a tribunal convicted former Hartlepool MP Mike Hill guilty of victimizing Ms A, a former employee who rejected his advances. She alleged the party disregarded her accusations, tried to cover them up, and provided no help throughout a four-year struggle for justice.
The party received a formal complaint concerning Davies on Thursday and opened an investigation.
Politico claims the Swansea West MP sexually harassed younger colleagues. Davies, 63, claimed he did not “recognise” the charges and apologized “if I have inadvertently caused offence to anyone.”
“The Labour party did not help me when I first went to them,” Ms. A stated. After media interviews, the party contacted me.
“I think they are launching this inquiry into Davies this week because they can see a general election coming and think there might be a snap election. They want to appear moral. They move goalposts when they want. They don’t care about victims.”
According to a decision, Hill, who was married, harassed and bullied Ms A for 16 months between 2017 and 2018. “Unwanted sexual conduct” violated the Equality Act.
Geraint Davies, another MP, is accused of sexual harassment.
“Getting into bed with the claimant on 11 December 2017 and rubbing his erection against her” and “sexual assaults on occasions at the Westminster office” were the violations.
In March 2021, Labour MP Hill retired, triggering a Hartlepool byelection won by the Conservatives.
Ms. A complained to Labour in September 2019 and received an automatic answer with no recommendations. She said the party lifted the whip after a Sunday newspaper reported Hill’s alleged harassment, but reinstated it in October despite a parliamentary probe.
The tribunal heard that Labour MP Kate Hollern advised Andrew Bridgen not to support the claimant after she told him about the abuse. Hollern apologized for her attitude and quit her shadow ministerial role.
“The party’s procedures were a sham, and I can’t believe they have recently improved,” Ms A added.
Ms. A’s lawyer, Suzanne McKie KC, claimed MPs are protected by a £5m insurance policy for libel or slander but only £250,000 for sexual harassment. She stated Hill’s legal bills had consumed most of the Commons’ £250,000 insurance coverage for Ms. A.
“The bigger picture is that MPs’ employees who are sexually harassed and fired cannot receive proper compensation due to the limited nature of the MPs’ insurance policy. “A scandal,” she remarked.
After an assistant was warned for groping a junior staff member, Labour’s general secretary, David Evans, announced a review of the complaints process.
“Since the stories two weeks ago, it has been my urgent focus that we review the formal processes through which our colleagues can report such behaviour, how we work together with independent complaints bodies to ensure rigorous outcomes and protection for staff while investigations are ongoing, and how we can create a culture in which colleagues feel safe and encouraged to make a complaint if they need to,” he wrote in an email on Thursday.
A Labour party spokeswoman said: “An independent complaints process has been introduced by the party to ensure a wide range of support for complainants, to provide confidence and confidential guidance throughout the disciplinary process.
We urge complainants to come forward.