Monica Lennon says she was sexually assaulted by a senior Labour party figure

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 November 2017 in News

Monica Lennon MSP said a male colleague groped her in front of a room full of people but that Labour treated the incident as a joke

MSP Monica Lennon has described how she was sexually assaulted by a senior member of the Labour party at a social event.

Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Lennon said a male colleague groped her in front of a room full of people but that Labour treated the incident as a joke.

The MSP made an initial complaint but dropped further action because she was concerned she would not be believed.


RELATED CONTENT


Lennon said: “A man, who was a senior figure in the party, touched me in a manner that some would say is 'handsy'. He was sitting next to me when he groped me, in full view of other people.

"I don't want to go into the full details but he touched my body, in an intimate way, without invitation or permission. This shouldn't happen to anyone.

"It's possible at least half a dozen people saw exactly what happened.

"One man, who at the time was a Labour politician, joked to everyone in earshot, 'That's your fault for coming over here and getting him all excited'."

She added: “A few days later I ran into another man who had seen what happened and he made a jokey reference to it.

“The underlying message was clear, the whole thing was to be treated as a joke. I felt disappointed, hurt, embarrassed and let down.”

Lennon is the latest in a series of female politicians and activists to speak publicly about sexual harassment and assault in UK politics.

Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh and chief executive Paul Grice last week announced that a confidential phone line will be established for people working at the Scottish Parliament to report sexual harassment.

In a letter to all people who use the Scottish Parliament building, Macintosh and Grice called on MSPs, staff and visitors to call out and report inappropriate behaviour.

A Labour party spokesman said: “The party takes all complaints of sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination extremely seriously.

“We ask that anyone with a complaint comes forward so that allegations can be properly investigated. When evidence of misconduct comes to light, all appropriate disciplinary action is taken in line with the party's rule book and procedures.

“The party has been working with its affiliates to develop procedures specifically designed to deal with complaints of sexual harassment and safeguarding issues in order to improve internal processes and make it easier to report concerns.”

Categories

Related Articles

Getting to Know You - Miles Briggs
17 January 2018

Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs tells Liam Kirkaldy about time travel, his earliest memories and the greatest pain he has ever experienced

No recourse to public funds: How the UK's hostile environment policy is driving people into destitution
17 January 2018

With a growing number of people with insecure immigration status being driven into destitution, there is a limit to what local authorities can do to help

 

Nicola Sturgeon: Case for Scottish immigration system now "overwhelming"
16 January 2018

Speaking in Edinburgh the First Minister will argue that, with immigration essential to maintaining Scotland’s population, “the case for a different approach here is, to my mind, overwhelming”

Share this page