Lewis denies refusing to speak to Labour re harassment complaints. Alleged victim criticises resignation

Ivan Lewis MP

Bury South MP Ivan Lewis has quit the Labour Party. He was under investigation by the party over allegations of sexual harassment. Buzzfeed last year said it had spoken to five women about their experiences.

Lewis has denied sexual harassment but has previously apologised for behaviour that had made women feel ‘uncomfortable’.

In a letter published on his Twitter feed, Lewis rails against what he considers an ‘anti-Western world view’ and says he was unable to “reconcile my Jewish identity and current Labour politics”, as well as Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit and attacking the independence of Labour’s disciplinary process.

He also states that he was:

never…interviewed about complaints which have been made against me.

But senior sources at the Labour Party dispute this claim. One told the SKWAWKBOX that Lewis’ case had been passed to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC) and was pending agreement of a date between Lewis’ team and the party.

Another told this blog that his case could not have reached the NCC stage without investigators going to speak to Lewis at length about the complaints against him, because they would have needed to do so before passing a file to the NEC Disputes Panel – the group that would decide to send the case to the NCC – for the panel to assess.

However, Lewis’ letter also indicates that he was not cooperating with the investigation – a fact that would probably have prolonged attempts to move the process along:

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Ivan Lewis for comment about the stage his case had reached before he quit the party. A spokesperson told this blog:

After twelve months the Labour Party has never interviewed Mr Lewis about a complaint. Emails they were forced to reveal show they could have moved forward with the process since April.

Following a meeting Mr Lewis held  with a senior party person in October when he said he was considering resigning due to anti semitism the party sought to move the process forward. By this time the NCC was controlled by the left slate. A charge was drawn up once again without ever having interviewed Mr Lewis. The party repeatedly failed to reply to Mr Lewis’s lawyers concerns about the unfairness of the process. A number of MPs continuing to occupy senior positions and seen as loyal to the leader have never been suspended from the party despite serious complaints about their conduct including threats of violence and alleged criminal acts.

Asked to clarify whether he had refused to speak with Labour investigators in view of his statement about cooperating with a ‘truly independent’ process, a spokesperson responded:

Mr Lewis has never been interviewed or asked for an interview by any Labour Party representative about these complaints.

Mr Lewis reiterates he is willing to cooperate with a truly independent process.

The SKWAWKBOX had also asked whether Lewis intends to stand as an independent in the next general election given that this would split the anti-Tory vote and risk allowing the Conservatives to win what is a relatively tight seat. The last part of the spokesperson’s response stated:

Mr Lewis will continue to stand up for social justice as the independent MP for Bury South.

Allegations against him remain unresolved. Young Labour issued a remarkable tweet that quoted comments by an alleged victim in Greater Manchester:

Lewis’ spokesperson reiterated that he “strongly refutes the allegation made in this tweet“.

Lewis’ resignation has caused the NCC hearing on the complaints against him to be dropped. Former Labour MP John Woodcock resigned from the party in similar circumstances in July, just before a hearing into allegations of sexual harassment.

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8 responses to “Lewis denies refusing to speak to Labour re harassment complaints. Alleged victim criticises resignation

  1. “he was unable to “reconcile my Jewish identity and current Labour politics” ”

    Such right wing definitions of a ‘Jewish identity’ are, in fact, anti-semitic in so far as they identify ‘Jewishness’ with the illegal dispossession of Palestinians, and Zionism as a core belief.

    This is a slur on the wider Jewish community by Israeli apologists.

  2. I will not comment on the allegations against him. However, his politics were most definitely wrong.

    He voted for replacement of the Trident nuclear status symbol and thus put us all at risk.

    He also voted for the Iraq War and against an inquiry into it. Hopefully, someone better will be selected next time.

  3. The Times of Israel and the Guardian have almost identical headlines on this story.

  4. It’s over a year now since the fake allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Kelvin Hopkins and, as such, he was suspended from the Labour Party (the day before the story broke in The Telegraph). Just about anyone on the planet above the age of ten would agree that it’s implausible and inconceivable that if a man rubbed his crotch against a woman (which she found “revolting”), that THAT woman wouldn’t then send him a text an hour or two later to thank him for giving a talk at her university and tell him he’s “a star” and sign off with a x – ie a kiss – as she DID (and a few weeks later text him to ask him for an address to send him a Christmas card to etc, etc). This should and could have been dealt with in a matter of twenty-four hours.

    And ALL of the MSM who played along with it undoubtedly knew that the allegations were false and fabricated. As did The Telegraph of course prior to publishing the story. And just in case there’s anyone who hasn’t seen the statement he released on the day the story broke, here it is in full:

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15640737.Kevin_Hopkins__statement_in_full/

    • NB So three years after it supposedly happened, Ava Etemadzadeh goes to The Telegraph with the story, but WHEN did she make a complaint to the NEC about it. Given that KH was suspended from the LP the day before the story broke, then I would imagine it was either the same day as she made the complaint, or the day before. But here’s the thing – which I had never come across before in all the research I’ve done on the subject in the past fourteen months – this it what it says in an article in the Mail on November 3rd last year which I just came across:

      Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins has ‘absolutely and categorically’ denied allegations that he sexually harassed party activist Ava Etemadzadeh.

      Mr Hopkins was suspended from Labour over the claims but they were first passed to party officials three years ago – something which he ‘absolutely and categorically denies’.

      Ms Etemadzadeh, 27, has said she initially complained to the whips’ office about Mr Hopkins around three years ago.

      (Ends)

      It is undoubtedly a lie – ie fabrication – that her claims “were first passed to party officials three years ago” (at the time it supposedly happened), as it is inconceivable that it wouldn’t have been acted upon at the time and KH suspended THEN, as such, but in one fell swoop it changes reality to cover for the three years of silence about it on HER part, and at the same time makes it look to DM readers like the LP swept it under the carpet.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5047985/Labour-MP-Kelvin-Hopkins-denies-sexual-harassment-claims.html

  5. As regards Ava Etemadzadeh reporting the matter to LP officials, what we know for a fact is that she reported KH to the LP for what she alleges happened when she went to the Palace of Westminster on the 2nd of February 2015 (see his statement), about three months after the alleged crotch-rubbing incident, although she didn’t report it until some ten months or so later, a few months AFTER Jeremy was elected leader, and we know for a fact that she DIDN’T report the alleged crotch-rubbing incident THEN. In other words – or so we’re supposed to believe – she complained about what KH allegedly said to her when she went to the Palace of Westminster AND the text message he sent her a couple of weeks later, but DIDN’T mention the crotch-rubbing incident in her complaint.

    And as if anyone would go to the Palace of Westminster to meet up and spend time with the man who just who just three months earlier had held her too tightly and rubbed his crotch against her when saying goodbye, which she found “revolting”.

    The reality is that the allegations she made in relation to the Palace of Westminster were concocted in the weeks before she reported them to the LP, and the crotch-rubbing incident was concocted in the weeks before she went to The Telegraph AND then made a complaint to the NEC about it a day or two before he was suspended (and no doubt he was given very limited information at the time as to why he WAS being suspended) AND – as he says in his statement (and THIS also contradicts what the Telegraph said in its initial story – ie that they contacted him the week before to put the allegations to him and asked him for a response) – that he didn’t learn about the allegations until he heard about them in the media.

    And my overall point is that she did NOT report the crotch-rubbing incident to LP officials at, or around the time it happened, and it is of course a lie, fabricated for the obvious reasons. And nor did the Telegraph contact Kelvin the week before – and THAT is another lie – because if they had, he would of course have responded – prior to publication – with a statement similar to the one he released after the story broke, in which he would obviously have reproduced the series of texts she sent him, thus exposing the story for the falsehood that it was.

  6. My apologies, but it’s so convoluted trying to unravel all the lies, but what I meant to say in my second post was that she most likely made her complaint to the NEC either on the day KH was suspended or the day before.

    I have no doubt that both SHE and the Telegraph planned it that way – ie to leave it until the last possible moment for her to make her complaint to the NEC (before the story was published).

    And had she gone to the NEC first, then she would have been in breach of LP rules for disclosing details of the complaint to the media (in this case, the Telegraph).

  7. My apologies again, but having just checked, the only thing Ava E complained about initially was the text KH sent her (in which he says she is charming etc), and she DIDN’T mention/complain about the Palace of Westiminster alleged episode (which of course doesn’t square with the text she sent him an hour or so later – see his statement – and as I said above, in effect, no woman on this planet would arrange to meet up with the man who rubbed his crotch against her three months before).

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