Labour MP condemns Keir Starmer for keeping alleged groper in job

The party leader, who has remained silent on the issue, was urged to “loudly condemn” Labour’s handling of a sexual harassment complaint by a former intern.

It is understood although the complaint was upheld by two separate investigations, the man has been allowed to keep his job advising a party frontbencher.

Sir Keir’s office insisted he had a “zero tolerance” approach to sexual harassment and defended Labour’s independent process for dealing with such claims.

But Labour MP Rosie Duffield warned: “This is not OK. And I expect to hear it loudly condemned by my colleagues and leader.”

Fellow party backbencher Charlotte Nichols tweeted: “Yet another example of Westminster’s tolerance of sexual
harassment and misconduct.

“No party has clean hands here, and I’m ashamed that (yet again) my own party’s actions don’t match our rhetoric on higher standards. Pathetic.”

According to the Politico website, Labour took three years to investigate a sex harassment complaint against the unnamed senior party aide.

It reported the man was alleged to have groped the woman when she was in her early 20s. It said the complaint was judged proven twice – by parliamentary investigators and separately by Labour.

The website added Labour told the woman this month that her complaint, which she first made in 2020, had been upheld and the man would receive a written “final warning”.

The woman told Politico: “This ordeal has made me feel let down twice – by the man who chose to make me feel intimidated and vulnerable in my workplace and by the party which appears to be content to let him keep his job and risk other young women facing the same experience.”

Sir Keir’s spokesman said complaints were handled by an external organisation “recognised as experts when it comes to dealing with these sorts of investigations”.

He said: “We have an independent process that looks into all of these matters. It is a thorough, robust and independent process. It is for them to make the determination on how individual cases should be handled.

“The right and proper way for these issues to be dealt with is not through a political process, but by having a robust, independent process and that’s what we’ve put in place.

“Whether it’s the parliamentary process or our process, that is recognised as the right way for these things to be dealt with.”

Last month, Ms Duffield told the Daily Express her party let her be “isolated, hounded and harassed” after she spoke out on women’s rights amid the transgender row.

Source: Read Full Article