UK Labour Party MP resigns over sexual misconduct case
- An independent report said Chris Matheson made ‘unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances’ towards a young woman who was his junior member of staff
- His stepping down comes against a backdrop of turmoil after the resignation of Tory Prime Minister Liz Truss, and as the country awaits a new leader
A Member of Parliament from Britain’s main opposition Labour Party resigned on Friday after an independent panel found he had made unwanted sexual advances towards a woman on his staff.
The resignation of Chris Matheson, who admitted a “minor breach” in conduct, will trigger a by-election in the city of Chester in northwest England to replace him.
Matheson’s stepping down comes against a backdrop of political turmoil after the resignation of Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Matheson resigned after an independent expert panel set up by the House of Commons upheld a complaint about him to a parliamentary watchdog.
In its report, the panel said Matheson made “unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances” towards a young woman who was his junior member of staff.
These included inviting her on a “sexually motivated” private trip to Gibraltar and trying to kiss her after a work-related dinner.
It said that Matheson had committed a “serious breach” of the MPs’ Behaviour Code and should be suspended from the House of Commons for four weeks.
Matheson, said in a statement on his website that he had resigned.
“I believe that the honourable and right thing to do now is to resign my seat and seek to build my life elsewhere,” he said, while saying he did not accept all the accusations and “had no sexual motivation in this matter”.