EXCL Labour under pressure to reveal findings of sexual harassment report

Posted On: 
15th June 2018

Labour is under pressure to reveal the findings of an investigation into sexual harassment in the party amid fears of a cover-up.

Karon Monaghan was appointed by Labour last November to investigate sexual harassment in the party.
PA Images

PoliticsHome understands the inquiry, which was carried out by top QC Karon Monaghan, reported back to party bosses two weeks ago.

Ms Monaghan was appointed last November following claims by Labour activist Bex Bailey that she was raped by a senior official at a party event in 2011.

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At the time, Labour said she would investigate their handling of Ms Bailey's allegations, and also make an assessment of how the party deals with other such complaints.

The party said: "On the basis of her investigation, she will make any other such recommendations to the Labour party as seem appropriate."

It is understood that Ms Bailey, a former member of Labour's ruling national executive committee, has been allowed to see sections of the Monaghan report.

However, there are no plans for Labour to make its contents public. Instead, her findings will now feed into another inquiry into sexual harassment being carried by Labour's new in-house QC, Gordon Nardell.

One Labour MP said: "I'm not sure why the thing done by an independent QC needs reviewing by another lawyer who is a member of the party and has no expertise in the area. Karon Monaghan is the most eminent QC in that field.

"This is going down terribly with the women who have been campaigning to change the culture in the party. We all put a lot of faith into her doing the report and this just looks like back-covering."

Another Labour source said of Ms Bailey's case: "It is awful what they are putting her through. At a minimum Bex Bailey should be able to read the report into what happened to her and what the party proposes to do off the back of it.

"But, more importantly, I do not understand how Labour’s NEC can say it has exercised due diligence if it is not able to see the report and consider its recommendations. It is yet more sweeping problems under the carpet from Labour."

Rape Crisis was appointed by Labour in January to offer confidential advice to Labour members who have been the victims of sexual assault or harassment. Their feedback will also form part of Gordon Nardell's review, which will make recommendations to the party's NEC.

Speaking after Ms Bailey's allegations first emerged, Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to her "enormous bravery" in coming forward.

He added: "There will be no tolerance in the Labour party for sexism, harassment or abuse. Whatever it takes, we are absolutely committed to rooting it out."

Labour sources said the party takes all allegations of sexual harassment extremely seriously, and urged anyone with any complaints to come forward.