The Labour Party in the North East has confirmed a probe is being launched into issues raised following an Ombudsman’s Report into the husband of South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck who was the subject of an investigation for abusing elderly people.
Simon Buck was found by an independent panel to have carried out abuse against an elderly man whilst he employed as a care worker.
Mr Buck - who is now employed by a his wife, South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck as a part-time parliamentary assistant - denies the allegations.
This is a complex situation which we acknowledge needs to be dealt with appropriately.Labour Party spokesman
During the probe, his wife also made a call to South Tyneside Council’s chief executive over the length of time the investigation was taking.
Following a number of issues raised in light of the report, the Labour North has confirmed this was a “complex situation” which needed to be dealt with “appropriately.”
A complaint over the handling of the investigation was raised by Mr Buck to the Ombudsman.
It found minor procedural errors had been made and recommended the council award Mr Buck £400 compensation and to apologise.
At an extraordinary meeting of the full council, it was decided unanimously that no payment or apology would be made to someone they described as a “perpetrator of elder abuse.”
The issue has led to calls for Mrs Lewell-Buck to stand down as an MP
Issues raised since the report was made public are now being looked into, including his employment within the MPs office.
A Labour Party spokesman said “The Labour Party is taking this matter very seriously.
“This is a complex situation which we acknowledge needs to be dealt with appropriately.
“We are currently looking into the issues raised.”
The abuse claims date back to 2014 – but have just to come to light now after Mr Buck complained to the Local Government Ombudsman about the council’s procedure during its investigation.
The ombudsman’s report details how the allegations were made by the elderly man’s wife – who claimed Mr Buck, referred to throughout only as ‘Mr Y’, had “swore at” and “neglected” her husband.
Separate allegations were also made by a whistleblower, who alleged Mr Buck: Swore at vulnerable people and their families, used homophobic language and potential missed care calls.
Mrs Lewell-Buck and Mr Buck were unavailable for comment.