Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn suspended by Labour Party over historic sexual harassment claim

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn has been suspended by the Labour Party over a claim of sexual harassment, the Gazette understands.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 1:48 pm
Updated Monday, 7th October 2019, 5:07 pm
Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.

The complaint has previously gone through party processes but the case has reportedly been reopened in the light of additional witness testimony.

It is understood that the decision to refer 59-year-old Mr Hepburn’s case to the National Constitutional Committee was taken by a party panel, advised by an independent barrister, and that he has been suspended pending that process.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of sexual harassment extremely seriously, which are fully investigated and any appropriate disciplinary action taken in line with the Party’s rules and procedures.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We are determined to challenge and overturn sexual harassment and misogyny within politics and across society as a whole.

“We cannot comment on individual complaints."

The Labour Party recently launched a new Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure, which means that, for the first time, independent specialists will be involved in investigations, gathering evidence from the complainant and giving advice on how the investigation should proceed.

Mr Hepburn has been MP for Jarrow since Labour’s landslide win in 1997 in which Tony Blair ousted John Major as Prime Minister and was returned at the last General Election with a majority of more than 17,000.

The Gazette has contacted Mr Hepburn’s office for comment.