When accusations are made it is crucial that we respect the principles of due process and allow a fair and balanced investigation to explore all the evidence, the nature of the complaint, the context AND do not judge and or give evidence to the media. That is if you are motivated to shift society`s reflection of sexual inequality that can still be seen within the party.

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There are, of course, various degrees from banter flirtation, flirtation that comes close to the line of using power, right through to sexual harassment.  It is wrong not to have a system that helps and supports people who are receiving unwanted attention and the labour party has acted quickly to provide that. BUT equally we must allow protection for the accused also and  space to answer the accusations and for an independent process to examine all aspects.

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Sexual Harassment Policy  

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Maria Carroll is one of our team who has worked tirelessly to get the labour party to overhaul the complaints system for all members that it respects due process and natural justice. Our work on that continues.

We have been witness to endless bad practise by the compliance unit when it comes to administering investigations and our work to get that reformed is ongoing.  Many of the stories we have dealt with and are still dealing with can be found in this blog.  We are motivated by a core sense of justice and we are all horrified by the lack of care and respect for people being accused of sexual harassment. The specific policy on sexual harassment includes now an independent process separate from the compliance unit.

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Here Maria Carroll expresses our concerns about  people  not respecting due process and running to the media:

There are those who need to use the media to be heard because no one will listen. There are countless incidences of whistleblowers who have only achieved justice through the assistance of the media.

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The media does have a place on whistleblowing when people are not heard. IMO this issue is not one of those cases. Since bringing their concerns to light complainants have achieved much – a new independent and confidential service has been established and a new process for dealing with complaints. Details of that have been sent to every party member and anyone with concerns has been given the chance to come forward.
Therefore I cannot see a reason why today an MP, at this very difficult time, has taken her concerns of past matters to the press and not to that established service we have fought to achieve.

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The person complained about is once again publicly placed at risk. The investigation and any subsequent process has been placed at risk. How does anyone get a fair hearing when all this is going on?

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The systems of justice in this country are such that victim and accused are afforded the protections of fair process. Media is restricted in its reporting. Witnesses are restricted in their reporting too. These same restrictions must be placed on people in the Labour Party not just the accused.

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Add to that is another MP criticising Skwarkbox for publishing a response for the ‘accused’ a response that shows yet again the anguish of the publicly suspended, the pursuit of the relentless media, the lack of support.

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Have a heart and have a sense of justice please.

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