A former Labour MP has left the party before an inquiry into sexual harassment allegation against him were able to be concluded, the party has confirmed.
Kelvin Hopkins was accused in 2017 of inappropriate physical contact and was suspended by the Labour party pending an investigation.
The ex-Luton North MP continued to sit as an independent until the general election last year, when he opted to stand down from the House of Commons after a 22-year career. The prominent Eurosceptic cited his wife’s health as the reason for standing down and has denied the allegations against him.
A party spokesperson said: “The Labour party takes all complaints of sexual harassment extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.
“We are disappointed that the party’s disciplinary processes did not reach a conclusion due to Kelvin Hopkins’ decision to resign his membership.
“We are establishing an independent process to investigate complaints, including sexual harassment, to ensure complainants can feel confident that in coming forward they will be heard and get the justice they deserve.”
Labour activist Ava Etemadzadeh, who accused Hopkins of inappropriate physical contact, tweeted on Friday: “Yesterday, I learnt that former Labour MP, Kelvin Hopkins, had resigned from the Labour party two weeks before the hearing was meant to reconvene (first hearing was in August 2019).
“This is very disappointing news. I hope [Labour leader] Keir Starmer listens to my concerns and fixes this broken system.”