Labour MP candidate in east London 'under investigation' after sexual harassment allegation

Barking and Dagenham council leader Darren Rodwell is a Labour general election candidate (Barking and Dagenham council )
Barking and Dagenham council leader Darren Rodwell is a Labour general election candidate (Barking and Dagenham council )

A Labour MP candidate is understood to be under investigation by the party following an allegation of sexual harassment.

Darren Rodwell, who has been selected to fight the Labour safe seat of Barking in east London, is said to be facing accusations that he behaved “inappropriately” with a woman at an event last month.

In a complaint to the party, seen by the Independent, she alleged that Mr Rodwell, who is the leader of Barking and Dagenham council, asked “personal questions” and touched her “hands and legs in a sexual way” during a meeting.

According to the Independent, the complaint file reads: ”The complainant has received confirmation that an investigator will be contacting her in regards to the allegations.”

Mr Rodwell and the Labour party have declined to comment. A spokesman said the complaints process is confidential.

It comes as a clip of the council leader claiming he had asked police not to respond if they were contacted by a resident he was planning to confront at their home emerged.

Speaking about the “immense abuse” he had received online, Mr Rodwell said he tracked down the address of a person who had threatened to “take him out” when officers said they could not do anything about a social media threat.

He told the Propertyshe podcast in 2022: "I found out where the person lived because you know I have the ways and means so, I used them.

“I phoned, or my office phoned, the police up and said ‘the Leader wants to let you know, don’t worry if you get a phone call from this address but it’s only him going up round there asking why they think they could do a Go Fund Me page to have him taken out’.”

He added: “The Tri-borough Commander at the time knew me well enough to know that I would go round there and knock on their door because if you’re willing to say it on a keyboard, if you are willing to say it from afar, then say it to my face because that’s how you do it in the working class communities of Barking & Dagenham and round the country.”

It is unclear if Mr Rodwell did confront the resident.

Mr Rodwell was chosen as the Labour candidate for Barking in 2022, replacing Dame Margaret Hodge who is retiring.