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JOHN WOODCOCK MP is to be investigated over allegations that he sent inappropriate messages to his former female aide.
The Labour MP for Barrow and Furness was the subject of a sexual harassment complaint last year for allegedly sending emails and texts to an aide between 2014 and 2016 after she had left her job.
Last November at a meeting of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), it was deemed the woman’s complaint was substantial enough to be referred to the party’s constitutional committee.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Mr Woodcock said: “I was made aware in December last year that a complaint made against me was being referred to Labour’s national constitutional committee as a potential breach of the party’s policy on sexual harassment.
“I do not accept this but know the complaint must be thoroughly and fairly investigated.
“I have not yet been notified of any date for a hearing and was following the party's guidance that the process should remain confidential to reassure potential victims that they could make complaints without being exposed to unwelcome publicity.
“Therefore I do not intend to discuss details of the issue ahead of any hearing.”
A Labour spokesman said: “The party takes all complaints of harassment very seriously.”
Since Mr Woodcock was elected MP of the Cumbrian industrial town in 2010, he has emerged as one of Jeremy Corbyn’s bitterest enemies, slamming the Labour leader as a security risk and stating that he would not support him to be prime minister even after an election win.
Earlier this month, the Barrow and Furness CLP wrote to the Labour NEC over Mr Woodcock’s repeated attacks on Mr Corbyn’s leadership in light of issues relating to Russia, anti-semitism and the sacking of shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith from the front bench.
In the letter, constituency secretary John Clark wrote: “I have been asked by the Barrow and Furness executive committee to let you know that we have written to the Labour Party secretary and the NEC for advice concerning John Woodcock’s recent public comments.”
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