Ex-Hartlepool MP accused of sexual harassment wants to 'clear name in court'
A former Labour MP told a tribunal that he wanted to “clear” his name after being accused of sexually harassing a Parliamentary worker.
Mike Hill said he was “not guilty” of the allegations against him and that his decision to step down as Hartlepool’s MP in March was not linked to the claims.
His accuser, a woman known only as Ms A for legal reasons, alleges Mr Hill conducted a campaign of sexual harassment and bullying against her over a period of 16 months.
She said Mr Hill’s advances began with text messages, including one about craving her body, but progressed to groping her and rubbing himself against her.
Appearing remotely on Thursday at the Central London Employment Tribunal, Mr Hill was asked repeatedly whether he stood down as a result of the allegations against him and what conversations he had with the Labour Party.
Mr Hill said: “The closest I can say on that is this: I wanted to get to the point of the employment tribunal, it was important for me because I wanted to clear my name in court.”
He later clarified: “I did not resign in anticipation of these proceedings or because of the allegations against me.”
Mr Hill told the tribunal he was on medication for anxiety and had received six sessions of “psychiatric counselling”.
Earlier in the tribunal, Ms A said Mr Hill made her feel “scared, extremely confused, violated and powerless”.
She added: “I felt Mr Hill had a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality in that time, he would be friendly with me, but at others, particularly after I rejected his advances, he would turn and act like he hated me.”
Mr Hill was suspended from the Labour Party in September 2019 over the allegations before he was reinstated in October of that year to fight the December General Election.
He retained his seat with a 3,595 majority before resigning this March, triggering the by-election that saw Hartlepool swing dramatically to the Conservatives last week when Jill Mortimer won the Parliamentary by-election.
The tribunal, which is due to last a week and a half, continues.