Labour suspends veteran MP over claims he sexually harassed junior colleagues


A long-serving Labour MP has been suspended over allegations that he sexually harassed junior colleagues.

The party has launched an investigation over claims first reported by Politico that Geraint Davies subjected five young female colleagues to unwanted sexual attention.

The Swansea West MP has been administratively suspended from the party and had the whip removed pending the investigation.

Reporters spoke to more than 20 MPs and Labour staff who alleged a pattern of “excessive drinking, sexual comments and touching” by Davies dating back at least five years.

One former staffer alleged that Mr Davies approached her when she was 22 and “extremely drunk”, and that he bought her a drink before suggesting they could go back to his flat. He then sent the woman a string of “sexually suggestive messages”, it is claimed.

In another instance, Mr Davies allegedly invited a 19-year-old party activist to his hotel room after meeting her at a conference.

Two female MPs also told Politico that he touched them inappropriately, with one saying she felt “deeply uncomfortable” after Mr Davies pressed his leg against hers during a meeting.

The other said he came up behind her during a late-night vote in parliament, put his hand on her waist from behind, and said: “Glad we can go home now.”

A fifth woman complained that Mr Davies had repeatedly commented on her appearance.

Labour’s shadow immigration minister, Stephen Kinnock, urged those involved to file formal complaints, claiming the party is “very alive” to the issue.

Mr Kinnock appeared to suggest that without the submission of formal complaints, the claims amounted to “Westminster rumours”. “I try not to listen to what gets rumoured, because really what matters is when people do come forward and make a formal complaint,” he told Times Radio.

He added: “And we then need to swiftly investigate those complaints and take the necessary action. My understanding is that a formal complaint has not yet been made. But 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.”

It is the latest so-called Pestminster scandal to hit parliament, which has been plagued by claims of sexual harassment. This month, a senior Labour aide left his position after being found to have groped an intern 20 years his junior.

And in May last year a Conservative MP who was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault was asked by his party’s whips not to attend parliament while a police investigation was ongoing.

A Labour Party spokesperson 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.”

The Independent has contacted Mr Davies for comment.

He told Politico: “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.”