Labour received ‘no formal complaint’ about Alex Rowley
Alex Rowley blames “a determined attempt to use the media” to damage him
Scottish Labour has said it received no formal complaint about the conduct of Alex Rowley before the interim leader stepped down.
Rowley stood aside as deputy leader and interim leader on Wednesday and has since been suspended from the party while an investigation takes place over allegations from a former partner which appeared in the Sun newspaper.
In the article, the unnamed woman accused Rowley of harassment following the breakdown of their relationship.
Rowley denies the allegations and has taken legal advice on the matter.
In his resignation letter on Monday, which the party has released amid accusations of a cover-up, he said police officers contacted him five weeks ago in relation to a complaint made “almost four years ago” because of interest from the press.
“The police told me that after looking at the complaint at the time it was made, they deemed it not necessary to inform me that it had happened and certainly never questioned me about the accusation either formally or informally,” he said.
“The reason they were now informing me was that they had been contacted by a newspaper asking if such a complaint had ever been made. The police said it was now their duty to tell me about this complaint.
“I have since that point been acting on my lawyer's advice in this matter. I was advised that because the police clearly took the view that there was no case to answer I did not have to take action.”
He added: “There has clearly been a determined attempt to use the media to damage me and my family,” referring himself to the party’s head of complaints.
“At the end of this process I am fully confident that I will be in a position to clear my name,” he said.
In a statement this evening, a Scottish Labour spokesperson said the process would remain “fair and transparent”
“At no point did the Labour party receive a formal complaint regarding Alex Rowley. The party was approached by newspapers with unsubstantiated claims, with no evidence shared with the Labour party prior to publication in the Sun newspaper.
“Whilst the party could not formally investigate these claims in the absence of evidence and a complaint, they were put to Mr Rowley, who completely refuted them.
“As noted in Mr Rowley’s letter, he did not disclose to the party police contact on 10 October 2017.”
Data from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed one-sixth of the poorest households in Britain were in arrears
A Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister “had made clear her commitment to getting a good deal”
Nicola Sturgeon accuses Jeremy Corbyn of attempting to “deliberately mislead people” over the prospect of continued single market access after the UK leaves the EU
It’s a new year but it doesn’t look like a fresh start for Prime Minister Theresa May