Former Labour Party representative Bex Bailey has spoken out about being raped at a party event in 2011, in order to fight for change in the way in which the Labour Party deals with sexual assault and harassment within the party.
Bailey, who sat on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party for two years, has called for the need for an independent agency to look into accusations of sexual assault, so victims will not feel they could be penalised by coming forward. Bailey says she found the process of speaking about her rape to a Labour Party official a ‘horrible experience’, and that she was warned speaking out could ‘damage’ her.
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.
Prominent voices in the party, such as leader at the time Ed Miliband and Stella Creasy MP have spoken out on the bravery of Bailey to speak out about her ordeal. Creasy, a feminist activist both in and out of parliament, says she is “determined this must change”.
Leader of the Party, Jeremy Corbyn has said: “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.” Bailey has said it’s fantastic that Corbyn has been so strong on it and that she would “love to work with them on it”.
Bailey hopes to see an independent agency formed so that incidents can be reported where victims feel they have been treated fairly and without political bias.