Report: Ex-Labour leader denies sexual harassment claims

Gone: Jack Hopkins was leader of Lambeth Council for two years

Jack Hopkins, one of the rising stars of Lambeth Labour when Steve Reed OBE was council leader at Brixton Town Hall, is being investigated by the party over an allegation of sexual harassment and unwanted touching, according to a report in The Guardian today.

The newspaper reports that Hopkins “vehemently denies the harassment claims”.

Hopkins resigned as leader of Lambeth Council last week without giving any clear reasons for his decision. Hopkins had contested a challenge to his leadership in the (near-)one-party state (57 of Lambeth’s 63 councillors are Labour) as recently as last month.

According to The Grauniad, “Lambeth council has rejected any link between the allegation and the announcement last week that Jack Hopkins was stepping aside after two years in the role.”

In their report, The Guardian states, “A woman made a complaint to Labour in March about sexual harassment by Hopkins. Hopkins self-referred himself to the party’s disciplinary system after the woman formally challenged him about his behaviour.”

How the Guardian’sreport appeared online overnight

The newspaper reports, “It is understood that the woman has been left disappointed by Labour’s process and that it came as a shock that, because Hopkins referred himself, her first contact with the process was when she was contacted by the party to say it had been told that she had potentially been a victim of harassment.

“She is believed to be concerned that Hopkins’s resignation could be a way to minimise the impact of an investigation.”

A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: “The Labour party has a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and we take all complaints extremely seriously.”

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