Former Labour MP Christian Matheson has quit after a Parliamentary watchdog upheld two claims of sexual misconduct.
The Independent Expert Panel told Matheson to take leave from Westminster after complaints from a junior member of staff, breaching policies of Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.
Labour branded it an “incredibly serious case” and that chief whip Alan Campbell had told him to stay away from Parliament.
He has been automatically suspended from the Labour Party and had the parliamentary whip withdrawn, with Labour set select a new candidate for the constituency.
Shortly after Labour’s statement, it was announced he has quit as an MP.
This comes after the expert panel recommended Matheson “is suspended from the service of the House for four weeks” after claims against him were referred by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to the panel, over two incidents reported by a member of staff.
Experts upheld claims that in 2019, the MP for the City of Chester had invited the staff member on a private trip to Gibraltar with him and it was “sexually motivated”.
It said he “had placed the complainant under pressure and intimidated her.”
In a second instance, in January 2020, a claim was upheld that he took her to a “work-related dinner” and had “linked arms with her, made personal comments about her appearance.. made her hold his hand” and then “insisted on accompanying her” to the us stop. He then “invited her back to his flat” and kissed her”
The panel maintained the decision by the Commissioner, that it was an “unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances”.
A Labour spokesperson said: “This is an incredibly serious case. There must be a zero tolerance for sexual harassment and the Labour party has acted immediately following the ICGS (The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme) findings.
“We will now select a candidate that the people of Chester can be proud to vote for.”
Christian Matheson has been asked for comment.