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Corbyn to commit Labour to tackling sexual harassment

Leader will use a speech to commit his party to tackle the 'warped and degrading' culture.

Corbyn
PA

Jeremy Corbyn is to commit the Labour party to tackle the "warped and degrading" culture of sexual harassment in Westminster and beyond.

The Labour leader will use a speech today at his party's North West conference in Blackpool to tell delegates abuse has been "hiding in plain sight" - and this must be a turning point.

The pledge follows criticism of Corbyn for appointing now suspended Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins to the shadow cabinet after allegations against him had surfaced.

He "categorically" denied allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against him by party activist Ava Etemadzadeh.

Kelvin Hopkins has been suspended by the Labour Party
Kelvin Hopkins has been suspended by the Labour Party PA

Labour's Clive Lewis has also denied claims that he groped a woman's bottom at the party's annual conference, saying "it's not what I do".

Allegations have reached to the very top of government, with Sir Michael Fallon stepping down as defence minister earlier this month after facing allegations of harassment. He said his behaviour had "fallen below the high standards" required of the armed forces.

Corbyn is expected to say:

Labour is committed not just to challenging a warped and degrading culture in Westminster, and across society, but to overturning it. > Faced with the ongoing revelations about sexual harassment, we must make this a turning point and a moment of real change.> We must say 'no more'. We must no longer allow women, or anyone else for that matter, to be abused in the workplace or anywhere else.> This is not about peering into some dark recesses. This kind of abuse, sexism and misogyny, has been hiding in plain sight. It is all around us. It is, sadly, in our schools and universities, it is in our businesses and workplaces, in our newspapers and on our TV screens, and yes, it is in the corridors of power.> It is not enough to say 'this is wrong', then only tinker with procedures. How we respond to this moment will shape the way we live our lives. We need to make a fundamental shift in the balance of power and transform the way our society works.
Jeremy Corbyn

Addressing delegates in Blackpool, Mr Corbyn will say Labour is "turning the spotlight on itself".

He will also say a leading barrister has been appointed to investigate "if and how the party got it so painfully wrong" in the case of Bex Bailey, an activist who claims she was raped at a Labour event and was discouraged from reporting the alleged attack after an official said it would damage her career.

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