Senior Labour figure accused of ‘groping woman under a table’

Posted On: 
20th November 2017

A former councillor has accused a senior Labour MP of groping her under a table as his wife sat opposite. 

Leader Jeremy Corbyn has said victims of sexual harassment and abuse must be supported when they come forward
PA Images

Carol Hughes told the Sunday Herald the alleged incident had left her feeling “degraded” but said she had not wanted to “cause a scene” by challenging him.

The accusation relates to a dinner she attended ten years ago, with a senior Labour figure, who was then a Scottish MP.  

Ms Hughes, who stood down as a South Lanarkshire councillor in 2007, told the newspaper: "The next thing, his hand was right inside my dress and up my thigh. He was caressing my thigh."

Asked why she didn’t report the incident at the time, she said: "You don’t want to cause a fuss. You don’t want to cause a scene.

"If you are already sort of half-way in the frame of mind that you are getting manipulated and you are only in the place because of the men, you are halfway there to just being acquiescent to things like that."

The claims follow a flurry of accusations made against senior political figures over recent weeks.

Michael Fallon was forced to resign as Defence Secretary after reports emerged that he had behaved inappropriately towards female journalists.

While First Secretary of State Damian Green is currently under investigation over harassment allegations, which he denies.

A Labour spokesman said: "The party takes all complaints of sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination extremely seriously.

“We ask that anyone with a complaint comes forward so that allegations can be properly investigated."

Speaking yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn said: "When somebody has been accused of something they should be supported because it's a hard thing for them to cope with, just as much as the victim should also be supported."