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13 May 2021

Ex-Labour MP accused of sexual harassment wants to ‘clear name’

13 May 2021

A former Labour MP told a tribunal that he wanted to “clear” his name after being accused of sexually harassing a parliamentary worker.

Mike Hill said he was “not guilty” of the allegations against him and that his decision to step down as Hartlepool’s MP in March was not linked to the claims.

His accuser, a woman known only as Ms A, alleged Mr Hill conducted a campaign of sexual harassment and bullying against her over 16 months during his four-year stint in office.

I did not resign in anticipation of these proceedings

She said Mr Hill’s advances began with text messages, including one about craving her body, but progressed to groping her and rubbing his erect penis against her body in his London flat.

Appearing remotely on Thursday at the Central London Employment Tribunal Mr Hill was asked repeatedly whether he stood down as a result of the allegations against him and what conversations he had with the Labour Party.

Mr Hill said: “The closest I can say on that is this: I wanted to get to the point of the employment tribunal, it was important for me because I wanted to clear my name in court.”

He later clarified: “I did not resign in anticipation of these proceedings or because of the allegations against me.”

Mr Hill told the tribunal he was on medication for anxiety and had received six sessions of “psychiatric counselling”.

Earlier in the tribunal, Ms A, who had pre-existing post-traumatic stress disorder, said Mr Hill made her feel “scared, extremely confused, violated and powerless”.

The claimant said Mr Hill’s behaviour exacerbated her pre-existing mental health condition.

“I felt Mr Hill had a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality in that time, he would be friendly with me, but at others, particularly after I rejected his advances, he would turn and act like he hated me,” she said.

Mr Hill was suspended from the Labour Party in September 2019 over the allegations, but was reinstated in October of that year to fight the general election.

He resigned from his seat in March, triggering the by-election that saw the former red wall seat of Hartlepool swing dramatically to the Conservatives.

The tribunal, which is due to last a week and a half, continues.

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