Tuesday 22 October 2019


Labour is renowned for dragging its feet when it comes to investigating alleged misbehaviour of party members.  However, a very quick turnaround has bucked the trend in the case of Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.  Hill was suspended last month after an allegation of sexual harassment, but in less than four weeks he has been reinstated, albeit after the claimant dropped the allegation.  Even so, compare his treatment to that of Kelvin Hopkins, the MP for Luton North.  He has been under a similar investigation for almost two years.  Hopkins was suspended in November 2017 after a female activist claimed he hugged her 'too tightly' in 2014 and made 'inappropriate contact'.  Despite this supposedly distressing incident she later visited him in Parliament, but says that a few weeks later he sent her a 'suggestive' text message.

There is no indication if and when the absurdly long investigation into Hopkins will reach a decision, but we have a feeling it will be long enough to ensure that he does not stand as a Labour candidate in the next general election.  This is undoubtedly a political decision, rather than suspicion of guilt.  He is one of the few Labour MPs who backed the Leave campaign in 2016.  He also continues to support Brexit while suspended from the party, most recently voting against the Letwin amendment.  Is the disparity between his harassment case and others a coincidence?

Remainer Mike Hill is not alone in getting a quick turnaround when it comes to harassment claims.  Clive Lewis also received a speedy decision when he faced a harassment claim in 2017.  The complaint against Lewis was made public two days after Hopkins was suspended, but Lewis was not suspended despite the similarity between the two cases.  An activist claimed Lewis had groped her during a hug, but his case was thrown out the following month.  Lewis is an ardent Remainer.

One could also query the motivation of the complainant in Hopkins' case.  Three years is a long time to hold back, during which she went on to campaign for Remain in 2016.  She now argues for a second referendum, something vehemently opposed by none other than Kelvin Hopkins.

Hopkins' accuser Ava Etemadzadeh (circled) is an ardent Remainer

Coincidence?  What about the other Labour MPs who backed Leave in 2016?  Let's take a look...

Frank Field - resigned from Labour after vote of no confidence
Roger Godsiff - facing reselection battle for next election
Kate Hoey - standing down at next election after vote of no confidence
John Mann - standing down at next election to take up government role

Of the Labour Leave campaign backers in 2016, only one (Graham Stringer) is currently likely to make it the next election unscathed.