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Labour activist Bex Bailey warned by senior official not to report rape at party event


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Labour activist Bex Bailey has said in an interview with Radio 4 that she was raped at a party event in 2011 and a senior official told her that reporting the incident could "damage" her. She was not advised on how to proceed.

Bexley, formerly a member of the party's National Executive Committee, was 19 years-old when the incident happened, the attacker was senior to her but not an MP. She confided in a party official, two years after the event.

"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.

"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... or 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 went on to say she had been inspired by the bravery of women who had spoken out recently and that an independent body should be set up to review such claims.

"It's important that we need to make sure that this results in actual change in our parties as well as in Parliament, rather than letting it all blow over," she said.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "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."

Ed Miliband, Labour leader at the time echoed these sentiments:

"She is showing great bravery and courage in speaking out. Victims must be supported when they come forward. These allegations must be properly investigated by the police and the Labour Party." 

The treatment of women in politics has came under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks due to allegations of sexual harassment in Westminster.

A dossier of incidents has allegedly been collected by researchers. 

Images courtesy of Bex Bailey's Twitter

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