The Labour Party Is Recruiting More Staff To Deal With Complaints

Labour is taking on more staff to deal with complaints in the wake of a series of sexual harassment allegations in Westminster. Two new investigations officers are being hired to work in the disputes team, part of the party’s compliance unit, which upholds its rules. According to the job advert, the new recruits “will assist in the investigations relating to individual Labour Party members or groups of members which may lead to disciplinary proceedings or other interventions by the national or regional parties”. Also on the list of current vacancies is a disputes officer, and a maternity cover contract for a head of internal governance, which deals with “ensuring that the rules and constitution of the Labour Party are upheld by advising staff members on any constitutional matters and managing all NEC involvement”. A Labour source told HuffPost UK: “This is a sign of how seriously the party is taking this issue and ensuring it has the capacity to deal with complaints of all natures - from harassment to anti-semitism. “Dealing with this issue seriously is an organisational priority.” The party has also appointed independent legal expert Karon Monaghan too look into the handling of a rape allegation made by activist Bex Bailey, who came forward to say she was attacked at an event in 2011, but was discouraging from taking action by a senior official. Monaghan, a QC from the chambers set up by Cherie Booth, will produce a report on the incident for general secretary Iain McNicol and will also make recommendations on how procedures could be improved. Labour announced last week it plans to appoint an independent specialist organisation to offer confidential advice and support to anyone affected by sexual harassment. The external body will offer “an additional first step” for reporting complaints and will oversee formal training and advice for staff, NEC members and any others dealing with incidents.