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Ivan Lewis sorry for inappropriate behaviour

Mr Lewis: “I understand that a few women have claimed that my behaviour made them feel uncomfortable”

    MP Ivan Lewis has apologised for behaviour which may have made female colleagues feel uncomfortable.

    The former Labour Foreign Office minister made the apology after he denied claims that he sexually harassed a teenage girl.

    BuzzFeed News reported claims from a woman who said the Bury South MP touched her leg and invited her to his house when she was 19.

    The woman said that Mr Lewis repeatedly stroked her leg at a constituency fundraiser before asking her to go back to his house.

    The veteran Jewish MP, who acted as International Development minister under Gordon Brown, denies the claims.

    In a statement issued through his lawyers Mr Lewis said he had “never made non-consensual sexual comments or sexual advances to women”.

    He said he had “good professional relationships and enduring friendships with virtually all my female colleagues.

    “However, I understand that a few women have claimed that my behaviour made them feel uncomfortable.

    “I have on occasion asked women I work with out for drinks or dinner, or developed strong feelings for them, and I am genuinely sorry if this was unwelcome or inappropriate in the circumstances, and caused anyone to feel awkward.”

    Mr Lewis was forced to apologised for sending a series of suggestive text messages to a female aide in 2008.

    He sent, Susie Mason, then 25, inappropriate messages while she was working in his private office. No action was taken against Mr Lewis, who was Health Minister at the time, because she made no formal complaint. Ms Mason was moved to another job at her request.

     

     

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