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Clive Lewis cleared over groping claim

PUBLISHED: 10:38 12 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 12 December 2017

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has been cleared of groping a woman by the Labour Party

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has been cleared of groping a woman by the Labour Party

PA Wire/PA Images

Labour’s Clive Lewis has been cleared of groping a woman at the party’s annual conference.

The Norwich South MP had been accused of squeezing a women’s backside during a Momentum fringe event in Brighton in September.

The woman made the complaint after Westminster was engulfed in a sex scandal which included claims about numerous MPs and minsters from both Labour and the Conservative Party.

An internal Labour investigation has now found there is no evidence to substantiate the accusations and there will be no further action. Mr Lewis – who denied the claim “100pc” – is said to be relieved and determined to draw a line under it.

Mr Lewis said: “I am very pleased to be able to put this behind me and move on. I believe it right and proper the Labour Party treats all allegations of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct seriously.

“I want to express my gratitude to my wife, friends and constituents who have supported me during recent weeks. I look forward very much to continuing my work in Parliament, fighting for the people I represent and the city I love.”

The woman, a party delegate, had claimed Mr Lewis touched her when the pair were introduced at the World Transformed event.

The MP was forced to apologise after he was caught on camera at the same event saying “get on your knees b****” jokingly to a male friend. At the time he said the remark was “offensive and unacceptable” and that he apologised “unreservedly”.

One Labour source, who spoke out in support of Mr Lewis when the claims were made, welcomed the news. “This is a victory for common sense to be frank. Those who know Clive are clear that he would never do something like what he was accused of. He is a fun guy, a friendly guy but he’d never cross the line. I think most people in Westminster and beyond knew that from the start.

“I am pleased the internal investigation was rigorous because that is how it should be. We have the correct systems in place.”

A Labour Party spokesman said: ““After consideration of statements provided by the complainant and the respondent, the NEC’s sexual harassment panel has ruled that on the balance of the evidence the matter should not be referred to a full hearing.”

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