A MP suspended by the party Labour over sexual harassment allegations is facing fresh claims he “boasted” about bringing sex workers into parliamentary bars.
Geraint Davies has been suspended pending an investigation into reports of “incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour”.
One woman has submitted a formal complaint, after Politico initially reported that five other women made sexual harassment claims against the politician. The MP said he did not “recognise” the claims.
A Labour MP and a Labour peer later told Sky News it was “well known” that Mr Davies would “show off” sex workers in the terrace outside one of Commons bars.
“He would openly boast about bringing escorts and prostitutes onto the terrace and show them off,” the MP told the broadcaster.
The MP described Mr Davies as “a wrong ‘un” and “a sleazy man”, added: “He would look you up and down, make lewd comments and touch you around the waist when he came up behind you.”
A Labour peer said they saw him with young women on the terrace, saying there was talk of “favouring Eastern Europeans”.
Politico reported that two younger female MPs had claimed Mr Davies, who has served in parliament for 21 years over two spells, touched them without their consent.
The website said it had spoken to more than 20 serving MPs and Labour staff who described allegations of inappropriate behaviour stretching back at least five years.
The decision to administratively suspend the Swansea West MP means he will have the whip removed in Westminster while a review is carried out.
A Labour spokeswoman said: “These are incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour. We strongly encourage anyone with a complaint to come forward to the Labour Party’s investigation.
“Any complainant will have access to an independent support service who provide confidential and independent guidance and advice from external experts throughout the process.”
Labour is carrying out its own investigation into the claims made against Mr Davies. Labour is also reviewing the formal processes for complaints to be made, the party’s general secretary David Evans said in an email to staff.
Mr Davies has not responded to any of Sky News’ claims, but regarding the initial claims he said: “I don’t recognise the allegations suggested and do not know who has made them. None of them, as far as I know, has been lodged as complaints with the Labour party or parliament.”
It is the latest set of claims made in what has been termed the “Pestminster scandal”, in which allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour have been made against MPs or other senior figures.
Labour MP Charlotte Nichols said was warned of a group of around 30 MPs she should stay away from when elected in 2019 – saying there was something “deeply rotten” in the Westminster culture.
She told BBC Radio 4’s World at One that Labour officials knows about claims made about current Labour MPs, but “can’t even keep our own house in order”.
Ms Nichols said the party has only acted to suspend Mr Davies as “damage limitation”, adding: “They have known about this kind of behaviour, not just from him, but from others as well, for a very long time and they have chosen not to act.”
She added: “In the other cases they are aware of – including one of our colleagues who has been reported to police for assault who still has the party whip, who is still on the frontbench, that the party has chosen not to act.”
The case of the frontbencher referred to by Ms Nichols was investigated by the Metropolitan Police following an allegation of sexual assault.
The force announced in May it had ended its inquiry “at the victim’s request”. Labour said officials were neither contacted by the police nor received any formal complaint in relation to this allegation.
Criticising both Labour and wider Commons’ complaints processes, Ms Nichols said: “None on the systems we have in place are effective … It’s left to individuals to try to keep themselves safe as far as possible. That’s obviously not a normal thing to happen in the workplace. It’s deeply odd.”
Meanwhile, MPs and peers accused of sexual offences or violent behaviour could be banned from being on the parliamentary estate under new rules to be approved this month.
The Commons is set to vote on proposals to block colleagues from coming into parliament or going on committee trips if they are being investigated by police over wrongdoing – with a debate set for 12 June. There are currently only voluntary arrangements with MPs under investigation so they stay away from parliament.
The proposals were thought to be aimed at blocking MPs or peers when they were charged with any offence by police, but The Times reported that there are discussions about tighten the rules further and barring politicians at an earlier stage, at the point of any police arrest.
Under the new system being looked at by a Commons commission, a panel of officials will look at MPs or peers accused of an offence would. They would then report to a separate panel of senior politicians to decide whether the MP or peer should be barred.
A Commons spokesperson: “The proposals are currently being finalised by the commission, who are engaging with the House of Lords, and will be published in due course.”
Mr Davies and Labour have been contacted for comment on the latest claims.
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