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Labour activist 'felt isolated' over complaint made against MP

Labour activist 'felt isolated' over complaint made against MP

Ava Etemadzadeh spoke to the BBC's John Pienaar
A Labour activist who accused an MP of sexual harassment has told the BBC she feels disillusioned by how the party handled it.Ava Etemadzadeh, 27, said she was left feeling "very powerless and isolated" after Kelvin Hopkins was promoted the year after she complained about him.She said an independent reporting body was needed to handle such complaints.Labour says it takes such complaints "extremely seriously". Mr Hopkins has not commented on the allegations.
Labour suspends MP over harassment claim
Ms Etemadzadeh first complained about the Luton North MP in 2015 after she says he sent her a suggestive text message and made inappropriate physical contact while hugging her, after she had invited him to speak at a university event in 2014.
She complained to the party's then chief whip Dame Rosie Winterton who she said responded to her complaint.. But Ms Etemadzadeh said she was told action could not be taken while she wanted to remain anonymous. It is understood Mr Hopkins was reprimanded. But he went on to be promoted, albeit briefly, to Labour's front bench in June 2016 - shortly after leader Jeremy Corbyn faced mass resignations following the EU referendum.
Mr Hopkins has been MP for Luton North since 1997
Ms Etemadzadeh told the BBC she believed that the Labour leader's office had been contacted about the complaint "and it was ignored"."I'm very disillusioned because just a few months later I realised that Jeremy Corbyn promoted Kelvin Hopkins to the shadow cabinet, despite the fact that the leader's office was aware of this and they refused to act and that made me feel very powerless and isolated and alone."She said she had gone back to the party on Wednesday and raised it again but was told she would have to make a complaint through a formal procedure, via its National Executive Committee. Then she was contacted by a party official and asked to detail her complaints in writing but was warned the procedure would take a few days.She says that within hours the party contacted to her to say that they were suspending Mr Hopkins, shortly before the Telegraph published her allegations.Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn declined to answer questions from reporters about Mr Hopkins's promotion on Friday morning.
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