A LABOUR MP who sits on the front bench as one of Keir Starmer’s key allies has been suspended after the party received a complaint about his conduct.
Shadow foreign minister Bambos Charalambous has been “administratively suspended” from the party pending an investigation – meaning he has lost the whip and will sit in the Commons as an independent MP.
Mr Charalambous, the MP for Enfield Southgate, said he was “aware that there is an allegation that requires investigation by the Labour Party”.
“It is right and proper that process is allowed to take place,” he tweeted. “I will cooperate fully and play my full part. It is not appropriate to say anything further at the
“It is right and proper that process is allowed to take place,” he tweeted. “I will cooperate fully and play my full part.
“It is not appropriate to say anything further at this time.”
I am aware that there is an allegation that requires investigation by the Labour Party.
It is right and proper that process is allowed to take place. I will cooperate fully and play my full part.
It is not appropriate to say anything further at this time.
— Bambos Charalambous MP (@BambosMP) June 9, 2023
Whilst VoteWatch does not claim that the two incidents are connected, the suspension follows recent shocking accusations made by Labour MP Charlotte Nichols.
Nichols, who represents Warrington North, recently told the press that a Labour frontbencher had been reported to the police over allegations of sexual assault, and lamented the Labour Party for not taking action.
Nichols did not name the individual but said she has challenged Labour officials about the claims and “their response has been utterly inadequate”.Speaking to BBC Radio Four in the wake of the Geraint Davies scandal, Ms Nichols also revealed that within her first week of being elected to parliament in 2019 she was given a “verbal list” of around 30 MPs she should “steer clear of” due to their inappropriate behaviour.
She said there is a “deeply rotten culture” within Westminster when it comes to sexual harassment and “none of the systems we have in place are effective”.
Giving an example, Ms Nichols said: “One of our colleagues who has been reported to police for assault who still has the party whip is still on the frontbench, but the party has chosen not to act.”
Ms Nichols also said: “I am aware of cases where people have been sexually assaulted, they have gone to the ICGS (parliament’s independent complaints and grievance scheme) and have been told that they can’t act because it didn’t happen on the parliamentary estate.
“They’ve then gone to the party who took seven months to tell them they weren’t going to be investigating it and were effectively left with the option of going to the police… and that is in a context where we know conviction rate is 1.6%.”
Last month, it was reported by Tortoise Media that a female Labour MP claimed she had been sexually assaulted by a male shadow minister, allegedly after a summer party in London in July 2021.
However, Ms Nichols said she has personally raised the issue of the police allegation to the party hierarchy and there is “nothing that prevents them from acting”.
The suspension of MP Bambos Charalambous comes just two days after MP Nichols pumped up the pressure on her own party to take action against the ‘mystery’ alleged sex pest by tweeting out her dismay – a tweet that was again picked up by the national press, causing a headache for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Responding to her comments about the frontbencher’s alleged sexual assault and Labour’s lack of action, Labour said it has ensured “that there is a wide range of support available to complainants, to provide confidence and confidential guidance throughout the disciplinary process”.
In response, Nichols tweeted: “Objectively untrue from Labour and always nice to be gaslighted by the party you’ve been a member of since you were a teenager and now represent in Westminster.
“The moral high ground is earned and I’m ashamed we don’t have it on this topic, even if no party has clean hands.”