MP Ivan Lewis suspended by Labour


Labour MP Ivan Lewis has been suspended by the party over accusations of sexual harassment.

The Bury South MP was already under investigation by the party because of allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

On Thursday the party said it "takes all allegations of sexual harassment extremely seriously" and had suspended Mr Lewis pending an investigation.

Mr Lewis said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of my suspension ... I strongly dispute the allegations."

He added that he intended to "co-operate fully" with the party's investigation.

It follows allegations reported by Buzzfeed News that Mr Lewis had touched a woman's leg and invited her to his house at a Labour Party event in 2010.

In a statement issued after the report earlier this month, Mr Lewis said he had never sexually harassed anyone but was sorry if his behaviour towards women he worked with had made anyone feel "awkward".

He is one of a number of MPs who are being investigated over allegations about past conduct towards women.

The MP has represented Bury South since 1997 and has served in various roles in the shadow cabinet, most recently as shadow Northern Ireland secretary until September 2015. He served as a minister in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's governments.

Prime Minister Theresa May has met other party leaders to discuss the recent range of allegations about the conduct of some people at Westminster and called for a "new culture of respect at the centre of our public life".