Labour suspends MP Kelvin Hopkins amid allegations of sexual harrasment

Former shadow minister has party membership revoked while investigation takes place

Benjamin Kentish
Thursday 02 November 2017 21:37
Kelvin Hopkins has served as MP for Luton North since 1997
Kelvin Hopkins has served as MP for Luton North since 1997

Labour has suspended MP Kelvin Hopkins, a former shadow cabinet minister, "on the basis of allegations" it has received.

The party said Mr Hopkins' membership has been revoked pending an investigation and he has therefore had the Labour whip withdrawn.

The Luton North MP, an ally of Mr Corbyn, served as the Shadow Culture Secretary until last October. He has been an MP since 1997.

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.”

The announcement of Mr Hopkins' suspension came shortly before an allegation, published by The Telegraph, that the 76-year-old had sent "inappropriate" messages to a student.

Ava Etemadzadeh, who is now 27, told the paper that Mr Hopkins had sent her text messages after initially meeting her at a Labour event at Essex University in 2013, when she was 24. Ms Etemadzadeh was the chair of the university's Labour society.

In 2015, she reportedly accepted an invitation to meet the MP in Parliament, after which they are said to have exchanged text messages.

In one, Mr Hopkins is alleged to have called the then student "lovely young woman - attractive, intelligent, charming and sweet natured" before adding: "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 alleged that the MP hugged her "too tight" and "rubbed his crotch on me" - something she said she found "revolting".

Ms Hopkins' suspension comes amid a growing scandal over alleged sexual harassment within Parliament. Earlier in the week, Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, was forced to resign after admitting his behaviour had "fallen short".

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