Daily Express

Labour MP condemns Starmer for keeping alleged groper in job

- By Martyn Brown Deputy Political Editor

SIR Keir Starmer is facing a furious backlash from his own party after it emerged Labour continued to employ a man in a key role after he allegedly groped a woman 20 years his junior.

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 that although it 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 added: “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.

 ?? ?? Anger...MP Rosie Duffield
Anger...MP Rosie Duffield

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