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Charlotte Nichols accuses Labour of ‘gaslighting’ her after MP criticised party’s handling of sexual misconduct claims | Politics News

A Labour MP has accused her own party of “gaslighting” her after she criticised its handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

Charlotte Nichols, the MP for Warrington North, has claimed Labour only took action against suspended MP Geraint Davies after details about his alleged “unacceptable behaviour” became public knowledge.

She has also accused her party of “choosing not to act” over a member of the opposition frontbench, who she says has been the target of sexual misconduct allegations.

Responding to her comments, Labour said it has ensured “that there is a wide range of support available to complainants, to provide confidence and confidential guidance throughout the disciplinary process”.

But Ms Nichols has disputed this, accusing Labour of “gaslighting” her.

She tweeted: “Objectively untrue from Labour and always nice to be gaslighted by the party you’ve been a member of since you were a teenager and now represent in Westminster.

“The moral high ground is earned and I’m ashamed we don’t have it on this topic, even if no party has clean hands.”

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Last month, it was reported by Tortoise Media that a female Labour MP claimed she had been sexually assaulted by a male shadow minister, allegedly after a summer party in London in July 2021.

The BBC later reported that a complaint was made to the Met Police but they would not be investigating the matter “at the victim’s request”.

At the time, Labour said it had not been contacted by the police or received a formal complaint.

But speaking to the Warrington Guardian on Tuesday, Ms Nichols said everyone who has the power to act on the case “has the information they need to do so and it’s beyond disappointing that until now my party has chosen not to”.

The backbench MP suggested she could name the individual in the House of Commons, where politicians can’t be sued for defamation under the terms of Parliamentary Privilege.

She pointed to the case of Geraint Davies, who was suspended from Labour last week pending an investigation into reports, which he denies, of “incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour”.

She said: “As the Labour Party only acted in the Geraint Davies case at the point at which his name came into the public domain despite allegations stretching back over an extended period, if this is what it takes to get them to do the right thing, then I reserve the right to do this. “

However, she said she hoped it would not come to this as Labour should “not need to be publicly shamed into taking robust action”.

“No party has clean hands on this issue but I expect better from my own.”

Ms Nichols has previously spoken of a list of 30 MPs she says she was warned to “steer clear” of after being elected in 2019 and condemned a “rotten culture” within Westminster when it comes to handling sexual misconduct allegations.

MPs are set to vote on banning members from parliament if they are under criminal investigation for sexual or violent offences later this month amid growing pressure over the so-called “pestminster” scandal.

In response to Ms Nichols’ comments to the Warrington Guardian, a Labour spokesperson said: “We urge anyone with a complaint to come forward to Labour’s independent complaints process, Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme or, if appropriate, the police, so that allegations can be swiftly and fully investigated and action taken.

“The party has ensured that there is a wide range of support available to complainants, to provide confidence and confidential guidance throughout the disciplinary process.”

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