Former Labour MP sexually assaulted aide in Westminster office, employment tribunal rules

·2 min read
Mike Hill, former Labour MP
Mike Hill, former Labour MP

A former Labour MP sexually assaulted an aide in his Westminster office and fired her when she refused his advances, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Mike Hill, the former Hartlepool MP, was found to have repeatedly harassed his parliamentary staff member, and climbed into her bed and rubbed against her.

Mr Hill sexually assaulted the woman at work on more than one occasion, and victimised her when she rejected him by changing her employment terms and conditions then making her redundant.

He is now facing a potential criminal inquiry following the findings at the London tribunal, as the female victim said she is likely to pursue a police complaint against him.

Those involved in the case predict the ruling will encourage other targets of sexual harassment in parliament to take similar action against their employer.

Andrew Bridgen MP, who gave evidence on behalf of the woman, said he hoped others would be persuaded to come forward following the judgment.

“There may well be other alleged victims of powerful individuals, and they should draw strength from this landmark tribunal ruling,” he said.

The woman told the tribunal that Mr Hill, who was then married, sexually harassed and bullied her during a 16-month period in 2017 and 2018.

She said in her witness statement that Mr Hill had been her friend for several years when he suggested she moved to London to work in politics, and they live together in a flat to cut costs.

In September 2017, she claimed that he told her he loved her. When she rejected him, she claims he apologised and said he still wanted her to work and live with him in Pimlico, central London.

He continued to pursue her when they moved in together, the tribunal heard.

A reserved judgment released this week said Mr Hill was in breach of the Equalities Act in subjecting the claimant “to unwanted conduct of a sexual nature”.

He resigned as a Labour MP in March, resulting in a May by-election in Hartlepool and a victory for the Conservatives.

A hearing to decide on remedies to be paid to the woman is due to take place in November.