Complainants say accused Labour staffer has been seen at Parliament since allegations


The Prime Minister says the Labour Party staffer accused of sexual assault hasn't been on the parliamentary precinct since the day after Newshub revealed the allegations against him.

But Newshub has been told by one of the complainants he has been seen at Parliament since then.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday she was "incredibly frustrated, disappointed and concerned about the situation and the competing advice" that she's received.

She said the party told her the allegations weren't sexual.

"I sought assurances around the nature of that complaint, and was advised that they were not sexual in nature. Obviously, since then there's been reporting that has been counter to that.

The National Party says the Labour Party president, Nigel Haworth, must resign over the handling of the allegations.

"Nigel Haworth has to take some responsibility and has to go," deputy leader Paula Bennett told Newshub.

The woman who made sexual assault allegations told Newshub about the incident, saying she remembers him "using his elbow to push against my collar bone so I couldn't breathe".

"His hands were moving under my trousers. I remember struggling. He had put most of his weight on top of me. I froze. He definitely knew what he was doing.

"I just remember how sharp his nails were. I think it lasted 10, 15 minutes, maybe 20."

She also said the party did know, telling Newshub the investigating panel was told about it and given a printed testimony.

"He pulled down my pants and grabbed me under my shirt. I can recall him pressing down on my thighs.

"I remember struggling, hoping someone would come up the stairs or that some noise would make them come up; and trying to push him off me." 

Bennett said it's time the Prime Minister asked the "proper questions" and "demanded the right answers" and "took some responsibility".

"She's letting them down. She should take that personally."

The Prime Minister says the day after Newshub revealed the allegations the staffer hasn't been around Parliament.

"We haven't had a complaint to their employer that has enabled action beyond that," Ardern said.

But complainants told Newshub, and Paula Bennett, that they have seen him around Parliament.

Bennett said Ardern is "either being misled or being misleading again, and that he has been seen".

She said one victim contacted her because she had "bumped into him again, on the premises, and just felt so unsafe".

A QC has been appointed if the complainants want to appeal.

"I'll be asking the QC to report directly to me," Ardern said.

The alleged victims want people to understand: "We are so exhausted from fighting but the reason we are doing this is to protect new women coming in."



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