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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Westminster rocked by second ‘suicide’ after sexual misconduct allegations

An official at the Labour party’s headquarters has reportedly taken his own life while under suspension

The British political establishment has been wracked by allegations of sexual misconduct. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
The British political establishment has been wracked by allegations of sexual misconduct. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

The sexual misconduct scandal which has been swirling around British politics over the last month appears to have led to a second member of a political party under investigation to have taken their own life. The Sunday Times reports that an official of the opposition Labour party has died suddenly after he was suspended from his job at the organisation’s HQ following claims that he had pornography on his office computer.

The man, who is believed to be in his thirties and who works at the Victoria office of the party, was reported to have been using his computer to put the faces of people onto the bodies of porn stars, the newspaper says. Staff were told of the death by Iain McNicol, the party’s general secretary on Thursday. Sky News have reported that the dead man was not a household name.

A Labour spokesman said: “A member of Labour Party staff has died suddenly and unexpectedly. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and colleagues whose privacy must be respected. We will not be commenting further.”

The newspaper was told that the new inquiry had not found that the dead man was guilty of any wrongdoing. A source said: “The person was suspended last week for porn-related allegations. An inquiry was in its early stages. No facts had been found nor was there any finding of guilt.”

The death is the second to hit the party, which is still reeling from the suicide of Carl Sergeant two weeks ago. The former Welsh cabinet minister and assembly member had been suspended by the party on November 3 after allegations had been made about his behaviour and removed from his post as secretary for communities and children. Four days later he was found dead.

All the main parties at Westminster have been engulfed by allegations of sexual impropriety. Damien Green, the Tory first secretary of state and de facto deputy to prime minister Theresa May, is under investigation over allegations that he made inappropriate sexual advances towards a Tory activist and had porn on one of his office computers at the House of Commons.

Both parties, and Parliamentary authorities, are drawing up new protocols to ensure that decades-old entrenched sexual misconduct can be combatted. Labour appointed QC Karon Monaghan to investigate claims that a party worker was warned not to tell anyone about a rape she alleged had been committed by a senior Labour party official.

And this week, Ivan Lewis, the MP for Bury South, was suspended from the party after accusations of sexual harassment.

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