Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Swansea West, has been suspended from the party pending an investigation into claims of “completely unacceptable behaviour”, this morning (June 1).
According to political website Politico, Davies is accused of multiple incidents of inappropriate behaviour towards junior female colleagues.
The MP, first elected in 1997, has denied the claims and says he does not recognise the allegations.
“If I have inadvertently caused offence to anyone, then I am naturally sorry, as it is important that we share an environment of mutual and equal respect for all,” Davies said.
More than 20 people, including serving MPs and Labour Party staff, described excessive drinking, sexual comments, and unwanted touching by Davies – all directed at younger women in the workplace.
The reported incidents are said to be “an open secret” within the party, but no action has been taken as a formal complaint has not been received yet.
A Labour Party spokesperson added: “These are incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour.
“We strongly encourage anyone with a complaint to come forward to the Labour party’s investigation.
“Any complainant will have access to an independent support service who provide confidential and independent guidance and advice from external experts throughout the process.”
Davies was previously MP for Croydon Central, from 1997 to 2005. Prior to that, he was also leader of Croydon Borough Council for a year. He was elected to represent Swansea West in 2010.
Fellow Welsh Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, told Times Radio a formal complaint must be made.
The MP for Aberavon added: “I genuinely believe our whips and our party is very alive to this issue. People get suspended, they lose the whip, investigations take place.
“I think we need to make that happen as rapidly and effectively as possible and make sure that anyone who does feel that they have a complaint to make that they know that they can do so in confidence, and that they will be treated with respect and confidentiality and with action will be taken.”