Tue, 23 April 2024

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The House Live All
By Bishop of Leeds
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Labour MP Liam Byrne Faces Two Day Commons Suspension For Bullying

The former cabinet minister has apologised for his behaviour

2 min read

The former cabinet minister Liam Byrne has been found by an independent panel to have bullied a former member of his constituency staff.

Parliament's Independent Expert Panel concluded Byrne had "abused his position" after "ostracising" a member of his office staff between March and July 2020.

The Birmingham Hodge Hill MP was found to have cut all personal contact with the former assistant following an office dispute, including removing access to his parliamentary IT account.

The panel concluded this amounted to a "serious breach of the Bullying and Harassment Policy which arose from the respondent abusing his position of power and ostracizing the complainant."

They added: "The impact of this behaviour was compounded by the fact that it occurred during the first period of lockdown when the complainant was physically separated from work colleagues, uncertain of his future work status and had undergone a period of ill health."

Byrne is now set to be suspended from the Parliamentary estate for two days on the recommendation of the committee and was ordered to "make a written apology to the complainant and undertake training to take action to address the causes of his behaviour".

Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone, who reviewed the panel's findings also criticised Byrne for not co-operating fully with the investigation, saying this had led to "unacceptable" delays to the investigation.

Responding to the report, Byrne said he was "profoundly sorry" and had "apologised in full to the individual concerned".

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