Labour has a duty of care to its activists and its policy for dealing with complaints of bullying and sexual harassment needs to be improved. Ensuring best practice in this area is the right thing to do, is necessary, and is something Labour as the party of equality should be leading the way on. Complaints handling and women’s safety should not be seen as an afterthought.
I took a proposal to improve Labour’s procedures to the NEC Equalities Committee, where it was agreed that this was a priority for the party. I will be taking it to the full NEC meeting on 26 January with the hope of getting it passed. I also took it to the Young Labour National Committee, where it received unanimous endorsement, and it was agreed that Young Labour will call on the NEC to take action.
You can read my proposal in full here: SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY PROPOSAL
UPDATE: I took this proposal to my last NEC meeting on 26 January. At the end of a long meeting, the NEC agreed the first half of the document, detailing the problems. It did not agree any of the solutions. It was, however, agreed that I would stay on the NEC’s gender representation group (part of the party review), so I could try to take this forward through the review. I was clear that this issue required an independent review, carried out by a person or organisation external to the Labour party, and that in the meantime there were urgent issues that needed dealing with that could not wait for a review to conclude.