Luton MP faces further allegations

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Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins, who was suspended from the Labour party over sexual harassment claims last week, is facing fresh allegations from a fellow MP about inappropriate behaviour towards her over more than two decades.

Kerry McCarthy, the MP for Bristol East, told the Guardian newspaper she began receiving unwanted attention from Mr Hopkins in the mid-1990s when the pair were both active in the Luton Labour party.

She said she had not reported his behaviour, but decided to come forward and give evidence to the chief whip, Nick Brown, to support Ava Etemadzadeh, who claimed Mr Hopkins sent her an inappropriate text and rubbed his crotch against her. Her allegations led to his suspension from the party last week.

Ms McCarthy said Mr Hopkins began paying her unwanted attention in 1994, when they were chairs of neighbouring Luton constituency parties,.

Mr Hopkins issued a statement on Friday night saying the previous allegations that caused his suspension had put him under “tremendous stress and pressure. The media camped outside my house and I had to leave my home with my wife to get away from the extraordinary intrusion into my family life.”

The MP said he was deeply saddened by Ms McCarthy’s decision to complain about him via the media and that she should have told him if she “was unhappy with any aspect of our friendship”.

“If Kerry McCarthy MP raises a complaint with the Labour party in the normal and fair way, I will of course fully cooperate with any investigation. However I do ask, on my behalf and on behalf of all other individuals and their families dealing with allegations, that these matters are dealt with by proper due process and not by unfair, humiliating one-sided trial by media.”