LabourToo activists send abuse dossier to Corbyn

Written By: James Douglas
Published: February 28, 2018 Last modified: February 28, 2018

Labour activists sent a dossier to Jeremy Corbyn covering claims of harassment, intimidation and abuse “at all levels” in the party.

The LabourToo report details 43 anonymous female staff, activists, politicians and candidates who have complained of inappropriate behaviour ranging from touching to rape.

A spokesperson said the level of inexcusable behaviour in the party which had emerged in recent months was “genuinely distressing”, adding: “Sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination is not restricted to the corridors of Westminster, but is taking place at all levels within the Labour Party.

“We need a system that is not open to political bias or interference from the friends and allies of the usually more powerful men whose behaviour causes the problem in the first place.”

The move came as MPs prepared to debate proposals for a new complaints and grievance system for Parliament. The new procedures were drawn up following a spate of complaints of inappropriate behaviour last autumn, which led to the resignations of two Conservative cabinet ministers and the suspension of a number of both Tory and Labour MPs.

LabourToo, an internal party pressure group, called for: a fully independent complaints process, including panels made up of people with no clear link to party; compulsory training for all party staff, elected Labour representatives and key elected officials; and a comprehensive set of policies covering bullying and harassment, sexual harassment, domestic abuse, abuse, assault and sexual assault.

It also wants a confidentiality policy which requires members not to share confidential information they become aware of as part of the complaints process, and mandatory DBS checks for those seeking selection as candidates, both at a national and a local level.

A separate report found that a quarter of MPs ­ including half of women MPs ­– said they were personally aware of sexual harassment or abuse in Parliament.