Kelvin Hopkins: Labour MP suspended over sexual harassment claims

The Luton North MP, now 76, has been accused of sending flirtatious messages to the then 24-year-old and rubbing himself against her

Benjamin Kentish
Thursday 02 November 2017 22:52
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Ava Etemadzadeh said Kelvin Hopkins' alleged comments made her feel 'uncomfortable'
Ava Etemadzadeh said Kelvin Hopkins' alleged comments made her feel 'uncomfortable'

The Labour MP suspended from the party over allegations of sexual harassment reportedly rubbed himself against a young activist and sent her text messages in which he lamented being too old to be her "lover".

Kelvin Hopkins, who represents Luton North, is accused by Ava Etemadzadeh, now 27, of sending a series of messages in 2015 in which he described her as "a lovely young woman - attractive, intelligent, charming and sweet natured".

He allegedly added: "A nice young man would be lucky to have you as a girlfriend and lover. I am sure one such is soon to be found. Were I to be young…but I am not."

Ms Etemadzadeh said she first met the MP in 2013 after inviting him to speak at an event at Essex University, where she was chair of the Labour society. She was 24-years-old at the time.

After the event, Mr Hopkins, now 76, is alleged to have rubbed his crotch against Ms Etemadzadeh.

Ms Etemadzadeh told The Telegraph: "He hugged me to say goodbye, held me too tight and rubbed his crotch on me, which I found revolting."

She reportedly met Mr Hopkins again in Parliament in 2015, where he is alleged to have said he would have taken Ms Etemadzadeh to his office had it been empty.

The Independent understands that a complaint about Mr Hopkins' comments to Ms Etemadzadeh was first made in 2015, soon after Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader. Those claims related to some of the text messages, but did not include the accusation that the MP had rubbed himself against her.

Mr Hopkins was given a "verbal reprimand" by Labour whips at the time but it was decided that no further action was necessary. Mr Corbyn's office were made aware of the allegations and the whips' response.

Announcing Mr Hopkins' suspension from the party, a Labour spokesperson said:“On the basis of allegations received by the Labour Party today, Kelvin Hopkins has been suspended from party membership, and therefore the Labour whip, while an investigation takes place.

“The Labour Party takes all such complaints extremely seriously and has robust procedures in place to deal with them.”

Earlier in the week, another Labour activist, 25-year-old Bex Bailey, claimed she was raped by someone within the party but told by a senior Labour figure not to pursue the matter.

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