Labour MP Kerry McCarthy has made allegations to the Guardian newspaper and another outlet about fellow Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins, who was suspended last week after ‘Labour activist’ Ava Etemadzadeh accused him of inappropriate behaviour. These are expected to be published early this evening.
A week ago the SKWAWKBOX was the first to publish Hopkins’ formal response to Ms Etemadzadeh’s claims and his evidence shed a new light on the situation. However due process needs to be observed and those claims investigated properly.
The allegations are said to concern letters dating from the early 1990s by Hopkins to McCarthy that were described to this blog as ‘charming and old-fashioned’.
Mr Hopkins is in evident distress that a new set of allegations has been made. The SKWAWKBOX has already obtained a copy of his formal response:
Last week deeply upsetting allegations were published and broadcast about me. They appeared in the press before any allegations had been put to me by the Labour Party. Unsurprisingly, I, my wife and my family have been living under tremendous stress and pressure. The media camped outside my house and I had to leave my home with my wife to get away from the extraordinary intrusion into my family life.
Since then I have been again been put under further pressure by two press organisations claiming to have received complaints about me from my parliamentary colleague, Kerry McCarthy MP. This has caused me immense personal hurt and utter dismay.
I have known Kerry McCarthy MP personally and professionally since about 1993. She was Chair of my Constituency Labour Party. She sat on a joint local Labour Party Agency Committee with me. We both stood as selection candidates for Luton North in 1995. She became a MP in 2005 and has been a member of the Shadow Cabinet. She is a person of substantial standing on the national stage and I counted her as a friend.
If it is true that my Parliamentary colleague and long time friend has made a complaint about me via the press, then I am deeply saddened by this. I cannot understand why a Parliamentarian of such experience and standing, who is also such a long term friend, would not have told me that she was unhappy with any aspect of our friendship rather than going straight to the national press. At a minimum I would have expected a Parliamentary colleague to raise any complaint through normal channels, allowing me due process and a fair chance to defend myself, if necessary.
If Kerry McCarthy MP raises a complaint with the Labour Party in the normal and fair way, I will of course fully cooperate with any investigation. However I do ask, on my behalf and on behalf of all other individuals and their families dealing with allegations, that these matters are dealt with by proper due process and not by unfair, humiliating one-sided trial by media. I am a 76 year old man and the stress this has caused me and my family is unbearable. All I ask for is proper due process and not to be convicted and vilified by the press before the details of the allegations are even investigated and put to me properly if they need to be.
Readers will draw their own conclusions as evidence comes to light.
However, given the terrible human cost of ‘trial by media’ on Welsh Labour Assembly Member Carl Sargeant and his family, the SKWAWKBOX hopes the mainstream media will exercise some restraint and allow due process to take place without the circus they have indulged in so far – especially as there appears to be no implication of any physical contact, duress or bullying.
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