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Labour ex-minister Ivan Lewis under investigation over sexual harassment claim

Labour ex-minister Ivan Lewis under investigation over sexual harassment claim

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

A top Labour MP has been placed under investigation by the party over allegations he made inappropriate sexual advances towards women.

Former minister Ivan Lewis has previously denied making any "non-consensual sexual comments or sexual advances".

Last night he apologised if he had made any women he had worked with feel “awkward” – but denied any of his behaviour amounted to sexual harassment.

A female activist has claimed he touched her leg repeatedly and invited her to his house during a party event in 2010 when she was 19, according to Buzzfeed News.

Other women have since come forward and said they were subject to inappropriate behaviour from Mr Lewis that made them uncomfortable, the site added.

Labour said it had received a complaint about the Bury South MP but it is understood he has not been suspended from the party or had the whip removed.

A spokesperson said: “The Labour party takes all allegations of sexual harassment extremely seriously and all complaints are investigated in line with our robust procedures.

“Ivan Lewis is currently under investigation following the receipt of a complaint.”

A lawyer for Mr Lewis told Buzzfeed News: “Mr Lewis has previously acknowledged that on some occasions his invitations to people he works with to join him for dinner or drinks have made them feel uncomfortable.

“He apologises if this caused them discomfort and if he underestimated the impact his invitations to drinks or dinner could have.

“He has always sought to behave with integrity and is genuinely sorry if he got it wrong in some circumstances.

“He fully supports the rights of women to raise these issues, and stresses his commitment to equality and fairness in the workplace.”

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