Ivan Lewis, the MP for Bury South, is under formal investigation from the Labour party for alleged sexual harassment.
Confirmation of the investigation comes two weeks after it was reported that the Jewish MP had been accused by a woman of sexually harassing her in 2010, when she was a nineteen year old student attending a Labour party event. According to the story published by Buzzfeed News, the woman said that Mr Lewis had “sat across the table from me and started stroking my leg with his leg.
“I thought it was mistake, but then every time I moved, he moved and kept stroking my leg again."
She also said that the MP asked her a number of times to go home with him, despite her turning down his initial invitation.
Mr Lewis denied the story. However, since it was published Buzzfeed News has been contacted by other women alleging harassment by the former minister. Mr Lewis is said to have strongly denied the further allegations.
The Labour party released a statement on Wednesday night saying that it “takes all allegations of sexual harassment extremely seriously and all complaints are investigated in line with our robust procedures.
“Ivan Lewis is currently under investigation following the receipt of a complaint.”
Mr Lewis released a statement to Buzzfeed via his lawyer, saying:
“Mr Lewis has previously acknowledged that on some occasions his invitations to people he works with to join him for dinner or drinks have made them feel uncomfortable.
"He apologises if this caused them discomfort and if he underestimated the impact his invitations to drinks or dinner could have.
"He has always sought to behave with integrity and is genuinely sorry if he got it wrong in some circumstances.
"He fully supports the rights of women to raise these issues, and stresses his commitment to equality and fairness in the workplace."