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Labour suspend veteran MP over 'allegations'

By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter
Labour have suspended veteran MP Kelvin Hopkins while they investigate allegations received by the party.
Mr Hopkins has served as MP for Luton North since Labour's landslide victory at the 1997 General Election.
It is understood the 76-year-old has been subject to a complaint of sexual harassment from a woman, which Sky News has established is Labour activist Ava Etemadzadeh, 27.The allegations are believed to have first been made up to three years ago and looked into at the time, although Sky News has been told "fresh information" came to light on Thursday to prompt the party's action.One of Mr Hopkins' fellow left-wing MPs told Sky News: "I can't imagine Kelvin pinching people's bottoms."A close friend of Mr Hopkins in his constituency said: "I don't believe it. I've known him for 20 years, it's absurd."People have been coming out with all sorts of silly things."Mr Hopkins is a former trade union worker and was one of 36 MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership in 2015. He also supported Leave during the EU referendum.He briefly served in Mr Corbyn's top team as shadow culture secretary last summer following a spate of resignations in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Labour suspend veteran MP over 'allegations'

Image:
The Luton North MP celebrates his re-election to Parliament in 2010
A Labour spokesperson said: "On the basis of allegations received by the Labour Party today, Kelvin Hopkins has been suspended from party membership, and therefore the Labour whip, while an investigation takes place.
"The Labour Party takes all such complaints extremely seriously and has robust procedures in place to deal with them."Mr Hopkins made no comment when approached by Sky News.His suspension comes amid a sexual harassment scandal engulfing Westminster.Earlier this week, Labour launched a separate investigation after activist Bex Bailey claimed she was discouraged from reporting a rape allegation by a party official.On Wednesday night, Sir Michael Fallon resigned as Defence Secretary after he accepted his previous behaviour had "fallen below" the standards expected of his position.Meanwhile, Theresa May's deputy Damian Green is being investigated over allegations he behaved inappropriately towards a female journalist. He strongly denies the claims.The Prime Minister also ordered an investigation after International Trade minister Mark Garnier admitted asking a former aide to buy sex toys.Ex-Cabinet minister Stephen Crabb admitted to being "foolish" by sending explicit messages to a 19-year-old woman he interviewed for a job.Last month, Labour also suspended Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara over offensive comments he made online.
news.sky.com
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