THE Labour MP whose resignation sparked the Hartlepool By-Election has been found to have committed a series of disturbing, sexually-motivated acts against a Parliamentary worker.
MP Mike Hill rubbed himself against the woman, known as Ms A, and attempted to touch her breasts, it accepted.
The central London employment tribunal upheld claims of “detrimental treatment” over a 16-month period.
Its judgement said “spiteful or retaliatory” acts followed the woman’s rejection of Mr Hill’s sexual advances.
Judge Joffe found Mr Hill had, on two occasions, got into bed with Ms A, rubbed his groin against her and attempted to touch her breasts.
He had also sexually assaulted Ms A by rubbing his penis against her bottom.
The tribunal heard Mr Hill told the claimant he loved her and begged her to work for him.
But it found examples of his detrimental treatment of her after she had rejected his unwanted advances.
These included extending her period of probation, failing to give her a promised pay rise and deactivating her security pass.
Mr Hill “held over the claimant’s head that she was very close to dismissal”, the tribunal’s reserved judgement said.
He also influenced a staffing review which threatened her with redundancy.
Mr Hill continued to press for a sexual relationship after Ms A made clear his attentions were not welcome and she threatened to take legal advice about them, the tribunal found.
It largely accepted Ms A’s version of events over Mr Hill’s, but did not uphold her complaints concerning disability discrimination and whistleblowing.
A remedy hearing to determine any compensation will be held in November.
In a statement released through her solicitor, Ms A said she was “extraordinarily disappointed” at the way Labour had responded to her complaint of sexual harassment and said she was likely to pursue a complaint to the police against Hill, which she had put on hold.
Ms A told the tribunal that Hill, who was then married, conducted a campaign of sexual harassment and bullying against her over a 16-month period in 2017 and 2018.
In a witness statement, Ms A said she had known Hill as a friend for several years when he suggested she move to London to work in parliament. She claimed Hill suggested they could live together in a flat to save her costs.
In September 2017, after she had made arrangements to leave her home in the north of England and move to London, she claims Hill called her and declared his love for her. After rejecting Hill’s suggestions, she claims he apologised and insisted she should still work for and live with him.
The tribunal was told Hill then pursued her while living with her, both in the flat in Pimlico, central London, and in Hill’s office on the parliamentary estate.
A reserved judgment released on Wednesday said Hill was in breach of the Equalities Act in subjecting the claimant “to unwanted conduct of a sexual nature”.
Hill resigned as a Labour MP in March, resulting in a May byelection in Hartlepool and a victory for the Conservatives. His case has been funded by the taxpayer because of an insurance policy offered to all MPs, while Ms A’s has been funded in part through a crowdfunding campaign.
The Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen told the tribunal he had met Ms A on several occasions in parliament in 2018 and 2019 and she told him about Hill’s alleged sexual harassment.
During the tribunal, Kate Hollern, the Labour MP for Blackburn, resigned from the shadow cabinet after being accused of trying to isolate Ms A for making allegations against Hill. The tribunal was told that Hollern warned Bridgen not to get involved in claims against Hill, saying there were rumours that Bridgen was having an affair with Ms A which would be damaging if they were disclosed by a newspaper.