'LabourToo' probe invites members to reveal harassment

Labour party activists have been invited to anonymously report harassment to an independent probe that will report to party chiefs within weeks.

The 'LabourToo' website was set up as the 'MeToo' campaign spread around the world in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. 

It was created by six female members of Labour who have kept their identities hidden for fear of further abuse.  

Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to ensure there is 'no tolerance' for harassment and assault in Labour after prominent activist Bex Bailey last night revealed she had been urged by party staff to not report being raped.

The revelation dragged Labour into the heart of a growing scandal in Westminster over harassment and sexual assault. 

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today at PMQs) has vowed to ensure there is 'no tolerance' for harassment and assault in Labour

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today at PMQs) has vowed to ensure there is 'no tolerance' for harassment and assault in Labour

Prominent activist Bex Bailey (file image) last night revealed she had been urged by party staff to not report being raped

Prominent activist Bex Bailey (file image) last night revealed she had been urged by party staff to not report being raped

A spokesman for the LabourToo campaign told the Huffington Post: 'We decided to set up the campaign off the back of recent inappropriate and unacceptable comments made by Labour MPs Jared O'Mara and Clive Lewis and the rise of the #MeToo campaign, which saw lots of women sharing their stories.

'Obviously since then the issue has become a lot bigger and we are continuing to ask people to send us their experiences, in complete confidence.

'The focus is very much on Westminster at the moment, but we know it is a problem throughout politics as a whole - affecting people across the whole country - and people have come to us with stories of incidents ranging from harassment and inappropriate comments to sexual abuse.

'It is not just a central government issue that needs to be dealt with - it's local government too.'

At Prime Minister's Questions today, Labour leader Mr Corbyn said he was happy to work with Theresa May on a cross party solution.

He said: 'We need better protections for all, this House must involve workplace trade unions in that but it's also incumbent on all parties to have robust procedures in place to protect and support victims of abuse and harassment.'

Bex Bailey has bravely waived her right to anonymity to reveal she was sexually assaulted by the official when she was just 19

Bex Bailey has bravely waived her right to anonymity to reveal she was sexually assaulted by the official when she was just 19

Sources close to Mr Corbyn today said the independent investigation into what happened to Ms Bailey would be concluded as quickly as possible.  

Lats night, Ms Bailey bravely waived her right to anonymity to reveal she was sexually assaulted by the official when she was just 19. 

Ms Bailey, a former member of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee, said she plucked up the courage to tell told party officials about it two years later.

But she said telling party bosses was a 'horrible experience' and she was 'not even given a cup of tea' by officials who failed to support her. 

The Labour source said today: 'You cannot have your own staff looking into allegations about your own staff on something like that, so it will be somebody outside of the Labour party is an expert in investigating these kind of allegations. 

'That will be done as quickly as possible.’ 

Ms Bailey's revelation left Labour fighting its own sex allegation cloud after the Tories have been rocked by allegations over the past few days.

Forty Conservative MPs including six Cabinet ministers have been named on a dossier gathered by activists detailing alleged inappropriate behaviour.

Theresa May (pictured at PMQs today) has written to other party leaders inviting them to talks on Monday about cross party solution to the growing crisis 

Theresa May (pictured at PMQs today) has written to other party leaders inviting them to talks on Monday about cross party solution to the growing crisis 

In a statement last night, the Labour Party said it took Ms Bailey's allegations 'extremely seriously' and announced an independent investigation into the incident. 

WESTMINSTER STAFFER 'SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY MP IN HOTEL ROOM'

A Westminster staffer today said she was sexually assaulted by an MP in a hotel room while on a business trip to Europe with parliamentary colleagues.

She said the MP - who she has not identified by name or party - pinned her to the bed and tried to force himself upon her.

The woman, who has not been named, managed to wrestle herself free and ran out of the room, she told The Guardian.  

Recalling the attack, she said she found herself alone with the MP in a hotel bar when the rest of the delegation went to pack their bags.

She said: 'He said: 'Come and talk to me while I pack my bag,' and I honestly didn't think anything of it. I thought we had a very professional relationship. There had been no indication of any flirting or anything at all,' she said.

'But when I got to his hotel room, he said: 'Come and sit on the bed' which made me feel uncomfortable, so I didn't and I was standing near the door. 

'But he was quite insistent, so I tried to brush it off, saying: 'Come on pack your bags and we'll go and meet everybody.'

'At which point, he basically pulled me on to the bed and pushed me back, and tried to kiss me. I very clearly said: 'No, this is not what I want.' 

'He held me by my shoulders and pushed me back again. On the third time, I managed to push him off again and basically ran out the room.

'Initially I was just really shocked and I didn't expect it but I was quite quickly scared because I knew I was in a vulnerable situation.'

She said she took her complaint to the police, the parliamentary standards commissioner, the authorities and the MP's party, but they all failed to take it seriously.

It comes as another woman has accused an MP - who she has not named or identified by party - of sexually assaulting her.

Ms Bailey told BBC Radio Four's PM programme: 'I was seriously sexually assaulted at a Labour party event by – it wasn't an MP – but someone who was more senior to me.

'It took me a while - it took me a while to summon up the courage to tell anyone in the party.

'But when I did I told a senior member of staff who told me... it was suggested to me that I not report it.

'I was told that if I did it might damage me and that might be their genuine view, it might be that that was the case, in which case that shows that we have a serious problem in politics.'  

Ms Bailey said telling party bosses was a 'horrible experience' and she was 'not even given a cup of tea' much less given proper support.

She said: 'I wasn't given good advice. I wasn't given a procedure when I asked for it so that I could, sort of, see what would happen if I did report it and then make a decision.'

Ms Bailey said she did not report the incident to the police at the time.

She said: 'I was scared, I felt ashamed, I know that the Labour party, like any family, loves a good gossip and I didn't want people to know, and I also was worried that I wouldn't be believed if I did.

'So no I didn't.' 

Asked why it took two years to report it to the party, Ms Bailey said: 'At first, I tried to just pretend hadn't happened and just sort of shut away.

'But it was only a couple of years later when I had summoned up the courage to do it that I did say to someone what had happened and just wasn't given the support that I needed.'

Ms Bailey said she was speaking out publicly now, amid the growing Westminster scandal over harassment, to try and secure change for women in politics.

Ed Miliband, who was Labour leader at the time of the attack of Ms Bailey, last night said he was 'shocked by the horrific allegations'

Ed Miliband, who was Labour leader at the time of the attack of Ms Bailey, last night said he was 'shocked by the horrific allegations'

Mr Miliband said the allegations must be properly investigated and victims must in future be supported when they come forward 

Mr Miliband said the allegations must be properly investigated and victims must in future be supported when they come forward 

She said: 'I'm doing it because it, for me personally, feels like the right thing to do and I really want to see the change that I've been fighting for for a long time now and that needs to happen.'

The activist said there should be an 'independent agency' where people can go to report allegations of harassment and assault.

Ms Bailey said: 'So we need an independent agency that people can report these issues to as oppose to members of party staff so that they feel confident that they can report these difficult issues without feeling that they will be penalised.

'And in terms of what that could look like you're talking about a charity or body that is contracted to the Labour party to provide these services so that you as a woman

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