Hartlepool Labour MP Mike Hill suspended amid sexual harassment allegation
A Labour MP has had the whip withdrawn and his party membership suspended amid allegations he sexually harassed a woman.
It is understood the party is investigating Mike Hill, the MP for Hartlepool, over a complaint he had made unwanted advances to a woman who worked in the Commons until this year.
A Labour Party spokesperson told the PA news agency: "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.
"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 now operates a helpline dedicated to sexual harassment allegations.
News of the investigation emerged at the start the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.
The Mail has been unable to contact Mr Hill or Labour North for a comment.
Meanwhile, a war of words has broken out between the Hartlepool MP and the borough council’s new leader over preparations for Brexit.
Mr Hill wrote to Coun Shane Moore, who heads the pro-Brexit coalition which controls the authority, after the release of documents relating to Operation Yellow Hammer, the Government’s preparations for when the UK leaves the European Union asking for a meeting.
He said: “Certain aspects of Operation Yellow Hammer are quite clear in stating that the base case scenario would include a serious hit to social care.
“Coupling this with rises in the prices of certain foods which are imported, contain ingredients that are imported or are packaged elsewhere, the Government quite clearly advise that this will hit vulnerable people the hardest.
“Given that Hartlepool has a higher than average number of vulnerable people already living in poverty, it is imperative that our local authority is fully prepared for any eventuality.
“With potential food, medicine and fuel shortages, coupled with potential for civil unrest, which would stretch our already thin police f orce, we could face a significant threat to living standards.”
He went on to request a meeting with Coun Moore and senior officers to discuss the council’s preparations – but the council leader snubbed the offer.
“After being in post for nearly five months without any formal contact from you on this matter, it is encouraging to see you suddenly taking an urgent interest,” he wrote.
“Hartlepool Borough Council, under new leadership, is working with the Government to prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.
“We are also ready and willing to take advantage of all the opportunities Brexit will bring.
“I would also state that our officers have been working in conjunction with other authority leads in the region and Government departments since 2016 to ensure that Hartlepool is prepared for any eventuality.
“Therefore, whilst I appreciate your new-found interest in this subject, I have considered your request to meet with us and I fail to see what the benefit of such a meeting would be, nor what you would be able to bring to the table.”