Mike Hill: Former Labour MP breached parliament’s sexual misconduct rules, report finds

A former Labour MP who quit his seat in March would have faced suspension from the Commons for breaching parliament’s sexual misconduct rules.

Ex-Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has been found by an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) to have committed two breaches of the rules with regards to his behaviour towards a woman in both his parliamentary office and his flat.

Mr Hill quit the Commons before the panel could take any action over his behaviour.

The IEP report said that had he not resigned “we would have likely considered recommending the sanction of suspension from the House”.

Its ruling comes in the wake of a report by the Parliamentary Commission for Standards.

It found that the former MP had acted in breach of Parliament’s Sexual Misconduct Policy in respect of one of the three allegations made by the woman.

The woman and Mr Hill both launched appeals – and the IEP ruled that the ex-MP had broken the rules in two of the three allegations.

The first allegation was that Mr Hill engaged in “uncalled-for and unwelcome physical contact” with the woman on two occasions and “initiated a sexual act without consent”.

The second allegation – which was rejected by the Parliamentary Commissioner but upheld by the IEP – was that Mr Hill “inappropriately” touched the woman multiple times after coming up behind her in his Westminster office.

The allegation that the woman was victimised and discriminated against was not upheld.

Mr Hill told the IEP that he was “mortified” by its verdict and said that while he had got himself “into a stupid situation of my own making” he continues to deny the allegations.

IEP chairman Sir Stephen Irwin said: “The sub-panel took a very serious view of his conduct, and had he remained a Member of Parliament, a significant sanction would have been under consideration.

“In the light of his resignation, however, the sub-panel concluded that no available sanction met the facts of this case and the specific circumstances of the Responder. They therefore did not impose or recommend a sanction.”

Mr Hill resigned his seat on 16 March, having been told of the panel’s decision to reject his appeal on 5 March.

Labour lost the ensuing by-election to the Conservatives earlier this month.

As a former member he would normally be entitled to a parliamentary pass, but Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has decided to deny him one.

There has also been an employment tribunal into the case, with a decision on that likely towards the end of June.

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