Former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Debbie Abrahams MP. Photo: Labour

Powered by article titled “Debbie Abrahams loses Labour frontbench role amid bullying claims” was written by Pippa Crerar Deputy political editor, for The Guardian on Tuesday 8th May 2018 19.19 UTC

The Labour frontbencher Debbie Abrahams has been sacked from the shadow cabinet after an investigation into workplace bullying.

The shadow work and pensions secretary, who had been suspended, has now been referred to Labour NEC’s disputes committee over the allegations.

A party spokesman said: “After a thorough party investigation into allegations of workplace bullying, Debbie Abrahams has been referred to the NEC disputes committee. She has been relieved of her post as shadow work and pensions secretary.”

The Guardian understands that multiple complainants came forward, supported by witnesses, and that the investigation found the MP had engaged in a pattern of bullying behaviour towards her staff.

Labour said in March that Abrahams had “stood aside from her frontbench role while the Labour party investigates an employment issue”.

Abrahams, who held the work and pensions role since 2016, has strongly denied the claims.

The Oldham East and Saddleworth MP said at the time of her suspension that she had experienced “aggressive, intimidating and wholly unprofessional” behaviour from “certain individuals” in Jeremy Corbyn’s office. She said she would make a formal complaint to the party and the parliamentary authorities.

On Tuesday she said: “I strongly refute the allegations of bullying made against me. I believe the investigation was not thorough, fair or independent. I will continue to represent the people of Oldham East and Saddleworth, and to hold this Government to account, from the back benches.”

Labour backbencher John Woodcock was suspended from the party last week over alleged sexual harassment claims, which he denies.

The Barrow MP, a fierce critic of Corbyn, has also questioned the “integrity of the process” that led to the charges against him being made public during a “politically charged time”.

Fellow MPs Kelvin Hopkins and Ivan Lewis have also had the party whip withdrawn in recent months pending similar investigations into alleged sexual misconduct, while Jared O’Mara was suspended over offensive blog posts. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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