Ex-Labour MP who groped female staffer told to pay almost £450,000 in damages

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A panel at the Central London Employment Tribunal ordered Mike Hill to pay more than £434,000 in compensation for unlawful discrimination - Richard Townshend Photography
A panel at the Central London Employment Tribunal ordered Mike Hill to pay more than £434,000 in compensation for unlawful discrimination - Richard Townshend Photography

A former Labour MP who sexually assaulted a female staffer in his Westminster office has been ordered to pay almost £450,000 in damages.

Mike Hill, who resigned as MP for Hartlepool in March last year, was found by a tribunal to have preyed upon, harassed and victimised the woman over a 16-month period.

The 59-year-old politician was said to have begun his “detrimental treatment” of the employee, referred to as Ms A, after she spurned his sexual advances.

Mr Hill, who denied the allegations, was alleged to have sexually assaulted Ms A on several occasions, both in his parliamentary office and in the bedroom of a property.

On one occasion in December 2017, he was alleged to have got into bed with the woman and rubbed his groin against her while trying to touch her breasts. He was also accused of touching her inappropriately in the Westminster office.

Mr Hill was found to have subsequently victimised the claimant, by changing her employment terms and conditions before making her redundant.

A panel at the Central London Employment Tribunal has now ordered Mr Hill to pay more than £434,000 in compensation for unlawful discrimination.

First ruling of its kind

It is understood to be the first public compensation order against an MP for sexual assault.

In a judgment published this week, the tribunal panel said the sum includes compensation for past and future loss of earnings, injury to feeling, personal injury, aggravated damages, the cost of treatment and the cost of training for a new profession.

The judgment said the effects of the discrimination had been “profound”, leaving the claimant “effectively homeless”, unable to work and with “severely strained” family relationships.

The judgment comes as Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, on Thursday said MPs accused of serious criminal offences could be banned from the Parliamentary estate under new powers being considered.

Mr Hill was suspended from the Labour Party in September 2019 over the allegations but was reinstated in October of that year to fight the general election.

He resigned from his seat in March 2021, triggering the by-election that saw the former red wall seat of Hartlepool swing dramatically to the Conservatives.

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