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Investigation into Clive Lewis groping allegation set to begin today

PUBLISHED: 08:46 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:46 06 November 2017

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

The investigation into an allegation Norwich MP Clive Lewis groped a woman is set to begin today.

A Labour source said they believed the process would begin properly after a 39-year-old woman claimed Mr Lewis squeezed her bottom at a party conference event in Brighton in September.

The woman – a party activist – made the complaint to Labour on Friday morning before repeating the claims to the media.

Norwich South MP Mr Lewis has denied the claims “100pc”.

The exact process is not yet clear but a fellow Labour MP said he thought it would mean having discussions with the woman who made the complaint, as well as her friend who apparently claims to have witnessed the incident.

“The party will want to be very thorough because of the current climate, that is for sure,” he said.

“Clive denies this so I think the fact that the process is probably going to be more robust than ever will work in his favour. It is right and proper that any claim is properly investigated – I know Clive agrees with that. I am confident this mess will get sorted.”

Another Labour source said: “How are they going to prove or disprove it? It is Clive’s word against these two people. The fear is that all people will remember is the accusation. He feels like he has been torpedoed.

“Clive knows what is acceptable - he wouldn’t have done this. He is an MP and a married man. He came into politics to do good not to be portrayed as a pervert. Former staff have been approached by journalists asking if he has ever done anything to make them feel ‘odd’. It is utterly awful.”

The woman told The Independent: “We had a hug and while we were having a hug he gave my bum a big squeeze.

“My friend who was there, a fellow delegate ... me and him looked at each other and our eyebrows went ‘whoaaa’.”

After the incident the woman continued to talk to Mr Lewis and even danced with him at the Momentum-organised event.

Last month Mr Lewis had to make an apology after saying “get on your knees b****” over the microphone at the same event. The comment, which was widely condemned, was aimed at a male friend of Mr Lewis in the audience.

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