Political editor WALTER CRONXITE reports on the latest scandal to hit the Labour Party
Has “The Curse of Croydon” struck again?
Geraint Davies, a former Croydon Labour council leader and MP for Croydon Central, has been suspended by the Labour Party and had the parliamentary whip removed pending an investigation into his conduct.
Widespread allegations over a long period were published this morning by the Politico website, which claims to have interviewed 20 witnesses to allegations of inappropriate behaviour, many conducted on the parliamentary estate, sometimes in bars or after late-night votes.
Five women told the website that Davies had “subjected them to unwanted sexual attention, both physical and verbal, after coming into contact with them through his work as an MP”.
Among those Politico has interviewed are “serving MPs and current and former members of Labour Party staff”, who described a pattern of behaviour “stretching back at least five years”.
Davies, 63, is married with two children.
He was MP for Croydon Central from 1997 to 2005. Before that, he had been a councillor in New Addington from 1986 to 1997.
Davies has been MP for Swansea West since 2010.
But he is not the first political figure with Croydon connections to have faced disciplinary action from the Labour Party recently.
In 2021 two other senior members of Labour’s council leadership team – Tony Newman and Simon Hall – were suspended by the party pending investigation into their roles in the financial collapse of the council.
A year later Labour expelled from the party sitting councillor Andrew Pelling, who as the then Conservative candidate in 2005 had unseated Davies from the Croydon Central parliamentary seat.
The Davies allegations published today centre on his time in parliament and claim “completely unacceptable behaviour”.
Announcing Davies’ suspnesion, Labour said the allegations were “incredibly serious”.
According to Politico, Davies is accused of subjecting younger colleagues to unwanted sexual attention.
The MP told Politico he did not recognise the allegations. “None of them, as far as I know, has been lodged as complaints with the Labour Party or Parliament,” he said.
“If I have inadvertently caused offence to anyone, then I am naturally sorry as it is important that we share an environment of mutual and equal respect for all.”
Davies remains the Member of Parliament for Swansea West during the Labour Party investigation and will continue to sit as an independent.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “These are incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour.
“We strongly encourage anyone with a complaint to come forward to the Labour Party’s investigation.
“Any complainant will have access to an independent support service who provide confidential and independent guidance and advice from external experts throughout the process.”
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