Hartlepool Labour MP Mike Hill has resigned “with immediate effect”
It’s understood an investigation is ongoing against Mr Hill, although no further details have been released. Mr Hill was due to face an employment tribunal later this year into claims of “sexual harassment and victimisation”. He has denied the allegations.
The vote will be the first by-election since the ‘Red wall collapsed’ it will also be the first real test Sir Keir Starmer has faced since becoming Leader of the Opposition. Labour has held the seat ever since its formation in 1974 but saw its popularity in the constituency collapse two years ago when many other northern seats elected a Conservative MP.
The party’s share of the vote dropped 15 percent in the 2019 election with the Tories’ pledge to “get Brexit done” winning over voters in the traditional Labour seat.
Hartlepool voted by 69.5 percent to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.
A Labour spokesman confirmed Mr Hill had resigned “with immediate effect.”
His decision to stand down comes following sexual harassment allegations against him, which he denies.
An investigation was ordered after a complaint was filed to officials into backbencher Mr Hill.
Hill was suspended from the party in September 2019 over the allegations he had made unwanted advances to a woman who worked in the Commons until this year – but he was reinstated a month later.
The alleged female victim has also contacted the police over her claims, which could spark an investigation by them.
Hill, 56, has been the MP for Hartlepool since the 2017 General Election.
A date for the Hartlepool by-election has not yet been set, but a could be held in just seven weeks time to coincide with the local elections taking place on May 6.