Labour activist says she was raped by senior figure and told to cover it up
Allegations come as Theresa May’s deputy Damian Green accused of making inappropriate sexual advances to a female activist
A Labour activist has said she was raped by a senior figure six years ago but was told not to report the crime by party officials.
Bex Bailey says she was told by a senior official that making an allegation would damage her career.
She told BBC Radio 4: “I was seriously sexually assaulted at a Labour party event by, it wasn’t an MP, but someone who was more senior to me. I was raped.
“It took me a while to summon up the courage to tell anyone in the party, but when I did I told a senior member of staff who – suggested to me that I not report it.
“I was told that if I did it might damage me and that might be their genuine view, it might be that that was the case, in which case that shows that we have a serious problem in politics.”
The Labour Party released a statement, saying: “The Labour Party takes these allegations extremely seriously.
“It takes great courage for victims of rape to come forward – and all support must and will be made available to them.”
The allegation is the latest – and most serious – in a slew of allegations of sexual misconduct from MPs that have emerged in the last few days.
MOST POPULAR ON YAHOO UK
In pictures: Brrrr-itain wakes up to its first frost of the season
Married man who killed lover and pretended she was alive for 17 YEARS to be freed from jail – but still won’t reveal where her body is
Labour MP says ‘better educated people’ voted to Remain in Brexit poll
Danish inventor admits dismembering journalist Kim Wall – but denies killing her
Woman driver, 22, died when suicidal boy, 12, jumped onto her car from bridge
It also emerged yesterday that Theresa May has ordered an investigation into allegations that her effective deputy, Damian Green, made inappropriate advances to a female activist.
Kate Maltby, who is three decades younger than the First Secretary of State, told The Times that Mr Green had “fleetingly” touched her knee during a meeting in a Waterloo pub in 2015 and a year later sent her a “suggestive” text message after she was pictured wearing a corset in the newspaper.
Mr Green said any allegation that he made sexual advances to Ms Maltby was “untrue (and) deeply hurtful”.
He is the most senior politician yet to be caught up in a tide of allegations and rumours relating to sexual harassment and abuse swirling around Westminster.
Ms Maltby, 31, said that 61-year-old Mr Green was an old friend of her parents who she had approached for advice after becoming involved in Tory activism.
When they met for drinks, she said he suggested could help her start a political career, before turning the conversation to the subject of affairs at Westminster.
Ms Maltby said that he mentioned that his own wife was “very understanding” and she then “felt a fleeting hand against my knee – so brief it was almost deniable”.
Angered by the incident, she had no further contact with Mr Green until his text a year later saying he had “admired you in a corset” and inviting her for a drink.
Writing in The Times, she said she renewed contact with Mr Green after his appointment to the Cabinet, but doubted he knew how “awkward, embarrassed and professionally compromised” she felt about the alleged incident.
Mr Green said it was “absolutely and completely untrue that I’ve ever made any sexual advances on Ms Maltby”.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was also forced to apologise for putting his hand on a female journalist’s knee.
The incident involved Julia Hartley-Brewer, who said she does not regard it as “anything other but mildly amusing”.
A spokesman for Sir Michael said: “He had apologised when the incident happened 15 years ago and both Julia and he now considered the matter closed.”
The revelations caoe as Parliamentary authorities draw up plans to allow victims of sexual harassment to report incidents “without fear”, with abuse allegations continuing to dominate Westminster.
Commons Speaker John Bercow met with senior parliamentary figures on the House of Commons Commission to plot a way forward as fresh claims of sexually intimidating behaviour emerged.
A spokesman for Commons Speaker John Bercow, who chaired the Commission meeting, said: “The Commission discussed the recent allegations relating to the harassment of staff, following today’s exchanges in the House of Commons.
“It recognised that the current processes for dealing with this required review and a more thorough understanding of how they are put into practice by political parties.
“The Commission therefore committed to urgent work, in concert with the key stakeholders, to identify a way forward which would command general confidence and enable people to speak up without fear or favour.”