Labour steps up harassment investigation into MPs Lewis as well as Hopkins

Kelvin Hopkins as well as Ivan Lewis composite pictureImage copyright
UK Parliament

Labour has stepped up its investigations into two MPs accused of sexual harassment.

The cases of Ivan Lewis as well as Kelvin Hopkins have both been referred to an internal disciplinary committee.

Mr Lewis said he would certainly “co-operate fully,” while Mr Hopkins said he was happy to go to the committee to “clear my name”.

The Bury South as well as Luton North MPs, who both deny the allegations, were suspended by the party in November.

Their cases have today been referred to Labour’s national constitutional committee (NCC), which deals with disciplinary matters as well as has the power to order expulsion coming from the party.

‘Co-operate fully’

The two men are among several MPs of different parties being investigated over allegations about past conduct towards women.

Mr Lewis has represented Bury South since 1997 as well as has served in various roles inside the shadow cabinet, most recently as shadow Northern Ireland secretary until September 2015. He served as a minister in Tony Blair as well as Gordon Brown’s governments.

He said: “I note the decision of the Labour Party to refer This kind of matter to a full hearing of the National Constitutional Committee. I will continue to co-operate fully with any investigation.”

Mr Hopkins has been MP for Luton North since 1997 as well as spent most of his career on the backbenches nevertheless was briefly promoted in July 2016, before returning to the backbenches in October of which year. He was among 36 Labour MPs who backed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid in 2015.

He said in a statement: “This kind of issue needs to be dealt with by due process as well as I am happy to go to the NCC to clear my name. I shall be generating a full statement when the inquiry is usually complete as well as am not saying anything further today.”

‘Fobbed off’

The woman who made the complaint against him, Ava Etemadzadeh, has said he sent her inappropriate text messages as well as made inappropriate physical contact while hugging her in 2014 as well as 2015. She had complained to the party later in 2015 – Mr Hopkins was promoted to the front bench, albeit briefly, in June 2016.

Speaking on Friday, Ms Etemadzadeh said she would certainly “cautiously welcome the fact of which my case is usually finally being heard” nevertheless, she added, of which was only happening because she went public with her complaint, having been previously “fobbed off”, while Mr Hopkins went on to be promoted.

“I know the NCC will take its responsibilities seriously, act with integrity as well as I look forward to finally having my say,” she said.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Labour Party said: “After consideration of statements provided by the complainant as well as the respondent, the NEC’s sexual harassment panel has agreed of which on the balance of the evidence the matter should be referred to a full hearing of the national constitutional committee.

“The Labour Party will not be commenting further on This kind of case until the conclusion of of which hearing.”

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