Labour Cold Case Unit: Four Never-Ending Investigations

Back in December Guido asked what progress Labour had made on their internal investigations into MPs accused of various forms of wrongdoing. At the time probes had been launched into Jared O’Mara, Keith Vaz, Kelvin Hopkins and Ivan Lewis. No progress has been made in five months. The O’Mara investigation has now been delayed again, and there has been no update on the other three. The supposed Vaz investigation has been ongoing for a year and a half. Ava Etemadzadeh, the woman who accused Hopkins of harassment, says she has no idea when her case will be heard. There is still no date set for the Lewis hearing, yet he is back in parliament and voting with Labour without taking the whip. A fifth MP, whose identity Guido knows but is not revealing to protect his alleged victim, is accused of wife-beating. He has not even been suspended. These investigations are a sham – Labour clearly has no intention of properly holding their MPs to account. Guido wouldn’t be surprised if Blairite Lewis gets thrown under a bus and the rest get away with it…

Harassment Complainant Blasts Corbyn

This is how Jeremy Corbyn’s self-serving interview with Grazia magazine went down with sexual harassment complainant Ava Etemadzadeh. Corbyn pushed his classic ‘not taking sides’ ploy to the limit when he said:

“We support the people making them as well as the people being alleged against.”

You couldn’t make it up…

Corbyn’s latest glossy interview – following his GQ sit-down earlier this month – has been something of a self-own. The Labour leader was branded presumptuous for repeating his suggestion that he’ll be Prime Minister by Christmas 2018 (he already said he’d be in Downing Street by Christmas this year). Thought he was supposed to be humble…

Labour Delays Kelvin Hopkins Decision

Labour has delayed making a decision about Kelvin Hopkins until next January at the earliest, putting its Pestminster investigation into him onto the back-burner. The former Shadow Culture Secretary lost the Labour whip in November after allegations that he sent inappropriate text messages and made inappropriate physical contact at a student event. Worth remembering that complainant Ava Etemadzadeh’s original allegation about Hopkins was made to the Labour whips’ office back in 2015. Those involved in the case were told to wait by their phones today for the outcome – only to be told it will be delayed…

Where Are the Dirty Dozen’s Promised Reports, Investigations and Decisions?

The Brexit noise is helpfully letting both the government and the Labour Party sit on the promised reports, investigations and decisions which followed the recent string of Westminster scandals. Here’s Guido’s run-down of the unfinished business from the past few weeks (and earlier)…

Jared O’Mara: Jared hasn’t been seen in Westminster since the scandal around him erupted in October and he hasn’t voted in the months since. He – or more likely, his whip – is submitting a number of very general written questions and signing the odd EDM to give the impression things are still ticking over. Jared is still under investigation after losing the Labour whip. He’s been off for weeks…

Keith Vaz: An investigation into Vaz by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is somehow still ongoing after a complaint was made about his rent boys and coke binge in September 2016 (Kathryn Hudson better hurry-up, she’s due to step-down by the end of this year). Vaz hasn’t voted since 18 October, though he did speak in the House last week. He is currently rumoured to be on a trip to the Middle East…

Damian Green: Westminster was on tenterhooks awaiting the release of Sue Gray’s report last week, but it didn’t materialise. It was rumoured to be on the agenda again yesterday but failed to appear. Putting off the inevitable seems to be distracting Damian from his job liaising with the DUP…

Mark Garnier: Remains under Cabinet Office investigation after the Mail on Sunday reported allegations in October that he sent an aide to buy sex toys and called her “sugar tits“. What on earth are they doing, interrogating the sex shop owner?

Kelvin Hopkins: Former Shadow Culture Secretary Kelvin Hopkins lost the Labour whip in November. The party is still investigating a complaint that Hopkins sent inappropriate text messages and made inappropriate physical contact at a student event in 2014. He is voting in line with Labour but hasn’t spoken since 25 October. No update from Labour…

Ivan LewisLabour is still investigating a complaint against Lewis, who denied allegations of sexual harassment after a woman said he touched her leg and invited her to his house when she was 19. He hasn’t voted since 31 October or spoken in the chamber since 25 October. No update…

Dan Poulter: MPs say they haven’t seen Dr Dan around Westminster since the Sunday Times reported allegations against him on 5 November. His office told the BBC he’s “on sick leave”. He last voted on 31 October and hasn’t spoken in the chamber since 11 July. The new Conservative Party disciplinary committee is yet to report its findings… 

Charlie Elphicke: Elphicke’s friends say is still unaware of what allegations have been made against him. He was told in November that allegations had been passed to the police, but there has been no news of any action. In the meantime, Elphicke is still without the whip. The chairman of his association recently backed him…

Stephen CrabbThe former Welsh Secretary is still under investigation by the Conservative Party for allegedly sexting a 19-year-old who applied for a job in his office in 2013. No update…

Chris Pincher: He resigned as a government whip after allegations in the Mail on Sunday that he had un-tucked the shirt of a male Tory. Pincher referred himself to the police. No news as to the outcome…

Daniel KawczynskiReferred to the Tories new disciplinary committee in November following allegations that he pressured a young researcher to go on a date with a businessman ‘older than her father’. Nothing heard yet…

Jack LoprestiA former staff member complained about Lopresti’s behaviour and a probe was launched last week. The complaint came via the Tories’ new code of conduct hotline…

What do Sue Gray, Kathryn Hudson and the Tory and Labour party internal inquiries get up to all day?

Kelvin Hopkins: Kerry McCarthy Story Coming

Kelvin Hopkins has given another interview to Skwawkbox apparently preempting an imminent Guardian story making new allegations about his conduct. Hopkins says fellow Labour MP Kerry McCarthy has made complaints about him:

“I have been again been put under further pressure by two press organisations claiming to have received complaints about me from my parliamentary colleague, Kerry McCarthy MP. This has caused me immense personal hurt and utter dismay.

I have known Kerry McCarthy MP personally and professionally since about 1993. She was Chair of my Constituency Labour Party. She sat on a joint local Labour Party Agency Committee with me. We both stood as selection candidates for Luton North in 1995. She became a MP in 2005 and has been a member of the Shadow Cabinet. She is a person of substantial standing on the national stage and I counted her as a friend.

If it is true that my Parliamentary colleague and long time friend has made a complaint about me via the press, then I am deeply saddened by this. I cannot understand why a Parliamentarian of such experience and standing, who is also such a long term friend, would not have told me that she was unhappy with any aspect of our friendship rather than going straight to the national press.”

Story coming tonight?

UPDATE: Kerry McCarthy alleges she has received unwanted attention from fellow party MP since mid-1990s:

“None of it is very tangible. If I had told anyone, it would have just been like gossip, instead of a complaint – you’ve seen what it is. But it is really inappropriate.” 

Kelvin made overtures to her which were not rude, lewd or physical, just unwanted.

 

Thornberry: “I’m Happy To Go”

Some confusion over the precise sequence of events regarding Labour’s suspended MP Kelvin Hopkins this morning, as Dawn Butler said on Marr:

“My understanding is… when the chief whip was informed of an issue against a member it was dealt with and both sides were happy with the outcome.”

Thornberry later stressed Kelvin “Twerk Me” Hopkins is under investigation and wouldn’t be drawn further on what Labour knew. The Shadow Foreign Secretary threatened to walk out of her interview on Paterson as she was pushed on why Hopkins was promoted after the allegations were first made:

“I’m sorry, that’s what you’re getting, I’m happy to go…”

Nerves wearing thin at the top of Labour…

Corbyn’s Office Sat on New Hopkins Allegations All Week

Corbyn’s office was first told about the Kelvin Hopkins allegations last year and yet still promoted him to the Shadow Cabinet. The cover-up deepened this week. Guido understands several news organisations contacted Labour with details of the allegations against Hopkins 72 hours ago. Labour refused to respond directly to the claims about Hopkins, only issuing a general statement. They only suspended him when the victim, Ava Etemadzadeh, went on the record to the Telegraph last night. Would Labour have done anything Hopkins without him being exposed on the front page of a newspaper? Questions to answer for the Leader’s Office…

Corbyn Promoted Hopkins AFTER Sexual Harassment Complaints

December 2015: 24 year old Ava Etemadzadeh contacts the Labour whips office to make sexual harassment allegations against Kelvin Hopkins.

January 2016: Jeremy Corbyn’s office receives a written complaint from a regional Labour representative detailing the allegations against Hopkins.

June 2016: Corbyn promotes Kelvin Hopkins to the Shadow Cabinet.

November 2017: Labour suspends Hopkins.

This looks pretty bad for Labour and Jez…

Labour Suspends Kelvin Hopkins

After days of speculation, Kelvin Hopkins MP’s membership suspended on “the basis of allegations received by the Labour Party today”First Labour name out…



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