A Labour MP suspended over harassment claims reportedly took sex workers to bars in Parliament as party colleagues said his alleged behaviour was an open secret.
Geraint Davies, the MP for Swansea West since 2010, has been accused of subjecting six younger female colleagues to unwanted physical and verbal sexual attention.
Labour confirmed it had stripped Mr Davies of the whip pending an internal investigation after details of the first five allegations were published by the Politico website.
The claims, which are denied by the 63-year-old, include the accusation he inappropriately touched two female MPs as well as attempting to cultivate a relationship with a 19-year-old activist by approaching her outside work hours and inviting her back to his hotel room.
Several of Mr Davies’s colleagues in Parliament claimed to Sky News he repeatedly “boasted” about bringing sex workers into bars in the House of Commons for drinks and would “show them off” on the outside terrace.
On Wednesday night, two Labour MPs told The Telegraph that rumours about his alleged behaviour circulated for several years and they were alerted to these as soon as they were elected.
One said: “There’s been rumours about him for years but he was always hardworking and personable, and nobody made a formal complaint.
“You know, ‘be a bit careful around Geraint’ – but this was always pretty casual and sort of throwaway, rather than a serious warning.”
Known about for a long time
Another Labour MP claimed the MP’s alleged behaviour had “been known about for a very long time.
“The lists, essentially, of people that you get told to stay away from, he is pretty much the top of it. I was literally told the week I arrived.
“When he comes into the tearoom, he’s always in your personal space. He’s always making comments.”
The Labour MP criticised their own party for not taking action sooner and claimed they alerted whips to accusations about Mr Davies a year ago, although no formal complaint was made.
“It’s absolute b------- that they didn’t know. I went to our whips last year. We don’t have any moral high ground at all.”
Stephen Kinnock, Labour’s shadow immigration minister, insisted party whips were “very alive” to allegations of sexual misconduct and urged complainants to come forward rather than listen to “rumours”.
“The key thing is that when something like this happens, a formal complaint must be made,” Mr Kinnock told Times Radio.
“And I do genuinely believe that our whips and our party is very alive to this issue. People get suspended, they lose the whip, investigations take place… if anything like this has gone on, I really do hope that the people who have been affected by this do come forward, make that formal complaint so that it can be properly investigated.”
A Labour spokesman said: “These are incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour. We strongly encourage anyone with a complaint to come forward to the Labour Party’s investigation.
“Any complainant will have access to an independent support service who provide confidential and independent guidance and advice from external experts throughout the process.”
In a statement issued to Politico, Mr Davies said: “I don’t recognise the allegations suggested and do not know who has made them. None of them, as far as I know, has been lodged as complaints with the Labour Party or Parliament.
“If I have inadvertently caused offence to anyone, then I am naturally sorry as it is important that we share an environment of mutual and equal respect for all.”
Labour and Mr Davies were contacted for further comment