#MeToo: Labour MP Geraint Davies loses whip over sexual harassment allegations

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Geraint Davies
Unveiling the Dark Side of Politics

Labour suspends MP over ‘incredibly serious allegations’

Labour has suspended MP Geraint Davies pending an investigation into reports of “incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour”.

The decision to administratively suspend the Swansea West MP means he will have the whip removed in Westminster while a review is carried out.

It follows claims against the veteran politician, which were reported by the website Politico.

A Labour spokesperson said: “These are incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour.”

We strongly encourage anyone with a complaint to come forward to the Labour Party’s investigation.”

“Any complainant will have access to an independent support service who provide confidential and independent guidance and advice from external experts throughout the process.”

Unveiling the Dark Side of Politics

This comes after Politico, which first reported the allegations, said it had spoken to more than 20 people who worked with Mr Davies in Parliament, including serving MPs and current and former Labour Party staff.

The news site said five women had claimed Mr Davies had subjected them to unwanted sexual attention, both physical and verbal.

The allegations, which go back at least five years, include excessive drinking, as well as sexual comments and unwanted touching of younger women, according to the website.

Some of the individuals said they had discussed his behaviour with Labour whips, who are in charge of party discipline.

Following a comprehensive investigation by POLITICO it has exposed multiple accusations of inappropriate behaviour toward junior female colleagues throughout Labour’s Geraint Davies’s extensive career in politics.

The allegations, brought forth by five women, reveal a disturbing pattern of unwanted sexual attention, both verbal and physical, by Davies.

Incidents took place primarily on the parliamentary estate, often in bars or after late-night votes. Shockingly, one of the alleged victims was as young as 19 years old at the time.

Responding to the grave allegations, a Labour Party spokesperson issued a statement condemning Davies’ behaviour, emphasising the party’s commitment to a thorough investigation and urging anyone with a complaint to come forward.

But again contradicting that statement it seems that some women felt that their plight was being ignored as some of the individuals said they had discussed his behaviour with Labour whips, who are in charge of party discipline but nothing happen.

In April 2022 it was reported that two former Labour staff were asked to sign confidentiality agreements after making complaints of sexual harassment about a senior official.

Documents show the women had reported the party official for “inappropriate” and “possessive” behaviour.

It has emerged as the ex-staffers have been named as potential sources of a leaked report about the party’s handling of anti-Semitism.

Only three weeks ago, The Labour Party’s handling of a sexual harassment complaint come under fire after a woman’s complaint against a senior party aide was upheld twice over the course of three years, yet the man has been allowed to keep his job advising a member of the shadow frontbench.

In a predictable fashion, Davies denied recognising the allegations, though expressing a conditional apology if his actions inadvertently caused offence to anyone. However, testimonies from more than 20 individuals who worked with Davies, including MPs and former Labour Party staff, corroborate a consistent pattern of excessive drinking, sexual comments, and unwarranted physical contact aimed primarily at younger women within the workplace.

It was reported the tolerance and knowledge of Davies’ behaviour within certain circles of the Labour Party raised concerns about the challenges of addressing harassment claims in parliament. Despite the existence of an open secret surrounding his conduct, no action was taken due to the absence of a formal complaint, highlighting the need for more effective mechanisms to combat such misconduct.

Disturbing accounts emerged from various individuals, further shedding light on Davies’ inappropriate behaviour. One former Labour Party staffer shared an incident in which Davies, then 58 years old, took advantage of her intoxicated state in a parliamentary bar. He bought her more alcohol and suggested they adjourn to his nearby flat, subsequently bombarding her with sexually suggestive messages alluding to illicit activities within the parliamentary premises.

Another alleged victim, a Labour Party activist, recounted how Davies persistently singled her out for private chats and pursued her outside work hours, even inviting her to his hotel room when she was just 19 years old. Although she declined, the encounter left her feeling uncomfortable and pressured.

Two female MPs also fell victim to Davies’ inappropriate conduct. One MP described how he pressed his leg against hers during a meeting, generating deep discomfort. Subsequently, he continued to engage her in conversation and winked at her in the House of Commons chamber. Despite confiding in Labour whips, she refrained from lodging a formal complaint, sceptical about the effectiveness of any potential action.

In another incident, Davies approached a female MP during a late-night vote, placing his hand on her waist from behind and making an unwelcome comment. She also chose not to disclose the incident to party authorities, doubting it would lead to any meaningful consequences. Both MPs, considerably younger than Davies and new to parliament, found themselves subjected to his inappropriate advances.

Additionally, a former parliamentary official accused Davies of making unwarranted remarks about her appearance and engaging in uncomfortable behaviour, such as commenting on how she smelled and expressing a preference for sitting next to her.

Geraint Davies keir starmer

POLITICO undertook extensive efforts to verify each accusation, collecting written statements from witnesses and contemporaneous correspondence. The allegations against Davies align with Parliament’s code of conduct, which categorises unwanted touching, sexual comments about appearance, and repeated solicitation as sexual misconduct.

Reflecting on Davies’ conduct, a Labour MP who has worked closely with him noted feeling genuinely uncomfortable, highlighting how he encroached on personal space, leaving an indelible distaste. Such observations resonate with the discomfort experienced by other women in his presence.

Davies, however, maintains that he does not recognise the suggested allegations and claims ignorance about the identity of the accusers. He asserts that no complaints have been lodged against him with either the Labour Party or Parliament.

Nevertheless, text messages seen by POLITICO indicate discussions between the whips and an MP allegedly subjected to Davies’ inappropriate touching, indicating prior knowledge of concerns about his behaviour.

While the Labour Party stresses its commitment to addressing sexual harassment and abuse by treating complaints with the utmost seriousness, a formal complaint is required for an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. Whips actively encourage those with informal concerns to file formal complaints.

In response to the unfolding story, Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock underscored the need for formal complaints and emphasised the party’s awareness of the issue, stating that suspensions, loss of whip, and subsequent investigations take place when such complaints are made. Kinnock unequivocally condemned the abuse of power by individuals in positions of authority and stressed the complete unacceptability of such actions.

In 2017, when a string of sexual harassment revelations hit British politics, Davies spoke of the need to tackle “an endemic cultural problem” at Westminster.

Westminster has since been hit by further waves of bullying and harassment scandals, with four MPs forced to stand down since the last general election because of sexual misconduct.

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