Labour staffer at centre of sexual assault claims resigns from Parliament

The Beehive in Wellington.
The Beehive in Wellington. Photo credit: Getty

The Labour staff member accused of bullying and sexual assault has resigned from Parliament.

"I have enjoyed my time working in Parliament, but today I have made the very difficult decision to resign because of the stress of the situation," he said in a statement Thursday.

He said he does not wish to be a distraction to the work of the Government.

"I adamantly refute the serious allegations made against me. I cooperated fully with the initial inquiry," he said.

"I am cooperating fully with the inquiry that is now underway, and will continue to do so, having been assured that this process will be fair to all parties."

Seven Labour members laid complaints this year accusing a senior Labour staffer of unacceptable behaviour ranging from bullying and intimidation to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Newshub's political editor Tova O'Brien broke a story on August 5 that Labour had been forced to review an internal investigation into the matter.

Following the Young Labour summer camp allegations in 2018 of sexual assault, underage drinking, bullying and harassment, Labour promised it would do better.

An inquiry by lawyer Maria Austen recommended sweeping changes including to the party's bullying, sexual harassment and assault policies.

But multiple people told Newshub that nothing had changed.

The allegations were back in the spotlight this week after The Spinoff published an article with details about a serious sexual assault against a 19-year-old Labour volunteer.

The party's handling of the situation led to the resignation of Labour Party President Nigel Haworth on Wednesday.

The man at the centre of the allegations is understood to have been working away from Parliament.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday he hadn't used his Parliament access pass since allegations were raised by Newshub about five weeks ago.

The Prime Minister has come under fire after she said she was not made aware that sexual assault claims had been made to the Labour Party.

That was despite emails seen by Newshub that showed Labour was sent details six months ago of sexual assault allegations against a party staffer.

An inquiry is being undertaken by a QC who will report directly to the Prime Minister. 

Newshub.

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