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Labour official 'warned activist' about reporting alleged rape

Labour activist Bex Bailey said she was raped at a party event in 2011 Credit: Bex Bailey/Twitter

A prominent Labour activist has said she was raped at a party event in 2011 and was advised by a senior party official not to report it as it could have damaged her career.

Bex Bailey, 25, a former member of the party's National Executive Committee, has called for an independent agency to be set up to deal with such issues.

She told BBC Radio Four's PM programme the attack was not carried out by an MP, but by an individual more senior to her.

Asked if she had gone to the police, she said: "No, I didn't, for all the reasons that I think a lot of women don't report this. I was scared, I felt ashamed, I know that the Labour Party, like any family, loves a good gossip and I didn't want people to know, and I also was worried that I wouldn't be believed if I did. So, no I didn't.

"It took me a while to summon up the courage to tell anyone in the party. But, when I did, I told a senior member of staff, who told me, it was suggested to me that I not report it.

"I was told that if I did it might damage me, and that might be their genuine view, it might be that that was the case, in which case that shows that we have a serious problem in politics with this issue anyway."

Ms Bailey said she "wasn't given good advice", she "wasn't given a procedure to follow" when she asked for it, and she added: "I don't think I was even given a cup of tea at the time."

Ed Miliband, who was Labour leader at the time of the alleged rape, praised Ms Bailey for speaking out.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has asked for an independent inquiry into the allegations.

Credit: PA

Speaking out about rape and sexual harassment takes enormous courage. Bex Bailey has shown incredible bravery by talking publicly about what has happened to her and has my full support and solidarity.

I have asked Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, to launch an independent investigation into the allegations that she wasn’t given the support from the party she should have received and had the right to expect.

There will be no tolerance in the Labour Party for sexism, harassment or abuse. Whatever it takes, we are absolutely committed to rooting it out.

– Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour Party has recommended the police investigate the allegation, releasing the following statement:

The Labour Party takes these allegations extremely seriously. It takes great courage for victims of rape to come forward - and all support must and will be made available to them.

We would strongly recommend that the police investigate the allegations of criminal actions that Bex Bailey has made.

Labour will also launch an independent investigation into claims that a party employee acted improperly over these 2011 allegations.

– Labour party spokesperson