The Labour Party takes complaints of sexual harassment very seriously and we understand that for those who have experienced sexual harassment, coming forward is a big step that is often extremely difficult. We are therefore continually reviewing our internal procedures to ensure that the process for making a complaint is suitable and as easy as possible.
Over the last year we have developed a new bespoke procedure for dealing with complaints of this nature. The procedure provides a more sensitive and appropriate process that allows anonymity for the complainant right up to the point it is referred to a hearing, clear and greatly reduced timescales for each stage of the process and a hearing that will not see the complainant having to face the respondent at any point. Although the introduction of this procedure has been a big step forward in how we deal with these complaints, we recognise that there is more that can be done.
Over the last few months we have been working with Rape Crisis UK to improve our processes and the support we offer those who experience sexual harassment within the party. Rape Crisis is an organisation with a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with those affected by sexual harassment and sexual assault and offer a range of support, advocacy, counselling and information around these issues. As part of this work and our ongoing relationship, they will be providing the following support to our current procedures:
- A support line for reporting sexual harassment that is completely independent from the party. It will be operated by specially trained members of Rape Crisis staff.
- Ongoing support from a named member of Rape Crisis staff for those who make a complaint throughout the whole complaints process.
- An independent audit of our internal procedures from the point of view of someone who is making a complaint to ensure the procedures are suitable and effective.
The support line will be operational from 15th January and will be available on the following number: 020 8683 3311. It will be operational from Monday to Friday between 10am and 6pm. It is available to anyone who has experienced sexual harassment within the Labour Party to get support and more information about the party's complaint process.
The service is provided and staffed by Rape Crisis and is completely independent from the Labour Party and Party staff. It provides an independent element to the current reporting process and opportunity for anyone that has experienced sexual harassment within the party to talk to someone outside the party.
Find further information and FAQs here.
Head of Complaints
The Labour Party
Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT