Labour Whips Found Farrelly Guilty of “Aggressive Behaviour” After Four Complaints Last Year

Labour’s Chief Whip made bullying-accused Paul Farrelly write letters of apology to fellow MPs after a whip’s office investigation found him guilty of “aggressive behaviour”, Guido can reveal. Labour whips launched a probe into Farrelly late last year following four complaints to Chief Whip Nick Brown, including one from a non-MP staff member working in parliament. The complaints concerned a series of aggressive outbursts on the day of a crucial Brexit vote. A ‘drunk’ Farrelly was said to have “squared up to” MP James Frith:

‘He jumped in front of Frith, who said, “Er, OK, aren’t we supposed to be in a queue?” Farrelly just started effing, saying, “Don’t you f****** start something with me.”

In a separate incident it was reported Farrelly had rowed with MPs Gareth Snell and Ruth Smeeth. At the time Farrelly denied the allegations, claimed he was victim of a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign and said “I don’t even know who James Frith is”…

Now Guido can reveal the whips did find Farrelly guilty of “aggressive behaviour”. Brown wrote in his findings:

“I have spoken to Paul about the events of Tuesday 14th November 2017. Accounts differ but on the balance of probablity I uphold the complaint of aggressive behaviour but not physical assault. In my view, the best way forward is for Paul Farrelly to write and apologise to Gareth Snell, Ruth Smeeth and James Frith… The member of staff has a right of complaint and anonymity… it would be appropriate for Paul to write a concilatiroy letter to the member of staff, care of ***, who can forward the letter on.”

Labour did not respond to a request made by Guido yesterday to disclose the outcome of the probe. The revelation that a complaint was upheld against Farrelly will pile pressure on the Newcastle-under-Lyme MP after Newsnight reported allegations about his behaviour towards former Commons clerk Emily Commander. Jeremy Corbyn yesterday said he would not suspend Farrelly:

“Obviously the investigation must take place first. If there’s proof of bullying then appropriate reprimands have to take place.”

With an upheld complaint for aggressive behaviour and further allegations of that nature Labour will surely have to suspend him if they are to be consistent…

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‘Lager Lout’ Farrelly’s History of Commons Brawls

Accused alongside Speaker John Bercow in the Commons staff bullying scandal is “lager lout” Labour MP Paul Farrelly. The rugby playing Newcastle-Under-Lyme MP has been implicated in a string of well-publicised scrapes and scraps. Last November Labour said they would investigate claims Farrelly “launched a foul-mouthed tirade” at colleague James Frith MP in one of the voting lobbies. Farrelly denied the allegations. It was claimed Farrelly was also involved in an angry confrontation with fellow Labour MPs Gareth Snell and Ruth Smeeth. A Labour spokesman said: “These are being investigated in line with the standing orders of the Parliamentary Labour Party.” What was the outcome? We’ve never heard back…

In 2010 Farrelly admitted wrestling a member of the public to the ground in a bar brawl on the parliamentary estate. He said he acted in self-defence when it was claimed he punched newspaper vendor Bjorn Hurrell above the eye in the incident outside parliament’s notorious Sports and Social bar. At the time Farrelly was a vocal critic of anti-social behaviour and claimed on his website: “Decent people should not see their lives blighted by nuisance and anti-social behaviour.”

Last night’s allegations concern Farrelly’s treatment of former clerk Emily Commander while she worked on the Culture, Media and Sport committee. An internal Commons report obtained by Newsnight shows the clerk told managers:

“I have been anxious about encountering Mr Farrelly… I have repeated nightmares about going on Committee visits with Mr Farrelly and being criticised by him for having neglected tiny details… After particularly unpleasant meetings I have lost my appetite and have on several occasions been physically sick.”

Further allegations surround a Committee trip to Italy in 2014. One participant on that trip claimed:

“He was a complete and utter bully. He wound her up like a screw and reduced her to tears. The more he upset her, the more he enjoyed it, the more he kept turning the screw. He was very aggressive. It felt like no one had the ability or authority to intervene. Everybody knew it was wrong.”

Farrelly told Newsnight: “In 2012 allegations were made about me having bullied a clerk to the Committee during the compilation of the phone hacking report. These allegations were investigated and not upheld.” If Labour are consistent they will suspend him…

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Bercow Accused of Bullying Female Secretary Until She Was Signed Off With PTSD

A bombshell Newsnight investigation has accused John Bercow of bullying his female private secretary. Witnesses said they saw the Speaker shouting at and undermining Kate Emms, who was signed off with post-traumatic stress disorder and had to take another job elsewhere. Bercow even had Emms painted out of his official portrait. He denies the allegations. MPs Mark Pritchard and Paul Farrelly are also accused of bullying – Jo Swinson has already called on all three to face an independent investigation. In October last year Bercow told the Commons: “There must be zero tolerance of sexual harassment or bullying here at Westminster or elsewhere”. Could this finally be what does for the Speaker?

UPDATE: A Commons source says Bercow has been consulting lawyers over bullying allegations for several weeks.

mdi-timer 8 March 2018 @ 23:09 8 Mar 2018 @ 23:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments