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Labour MP: party sex harassment probe is 'tainted'

By David Wilcock

An MP suspended from Labour over sexual harassment claims has told the party he will no longer co-operate with an internal investigation into his alleged behaviour because he believes it is politically motivated.

John Woodcock, a vocal critic of Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership, has written to general secretary Jennie Formby alleging that the disciplinary process against him is "tainted".

The Barrow and Furness MP is reported to be accused of sending inappropriate texts and emails to a former female staff member between 2014 and 2016, which he denies.

In his letter to Ms Formby, seen by the Mail on Sunday, he said investigations into sexual harassment must be fair to all parties, with "no heed given to the defendant or complainant's opinion of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership".

He added: "Regardless of whether other Labour members share my misgivings about Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, no one should be prepared to tolerate the disdain for due process and the rule of law that has been allowed to fester within Labour."

When suspended in April, Mr Woodcock said he was "very concerned" that "selective" details of the case had been disclosed and that Ms Formby had cited the publicity as a reason to suspend the whip.

The MP, who was first elected in 2010, said the complaint was made against him in November 2017. A Labour Party spokeswoman said: "The Labour Party takes all complaints of sexual harassment extremely seriously, which are fully investigated and any appropriate disciplinary action taken in line with party rules and procedures."

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