Why Was Labour MP Chris Matheson Suspended?
Chris Matheson, a member of the Labour Party, has resigned as a result of allegations of severe sexual misconduct, which are claimed to have taken place on a trip to Gibraltar that was sexually driven.
The Independent Expert Panel, which is an independent organization that investigates the behaviour of Members of Parliament, has recommended that the Member of Parliament for the City of Chester be suspended for a period of four weeks.
A former member of Mr. Matheson’s staff made two complaints of sexual misconduct against him, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found merit in both of those charges.
According to the investigation, he is accused of inviting her on a private vacation overseas, and the invitation was sexually motivated, undesired, and had placed the complainant under pressure and intimidated her.
After the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards upheld two complaints of sexual misconduct against Christian Matheson, his party, Labour, requested him to resign as a Member of Parliament and suspended his access to the party whip.
In a resignation statement posted online, Christian Matheson said: “I have today, with great sadness, tendered my resignation as Member of Parliament for the City of Chester.
“This follows publication of a report which had found me guilty of sexual misconduct.
“From the start I accepted I had committed a minor breach of the code and had hoped that an honest and open approach would stand me in a fair light. This has proven not to be the case and I am dismayed that I have been found guilty of several allegations that I know to be untrue.
“Indeed my insistence on what I know to be true – that I had no sexual motivation in this matter – was held against me as a refusal to accept my guilt, and caused an increased sanction which I felt was disproportionate.
“Despite provable factual inaccuracies in the sanctions report, my appeal against sanction was not even considered, for the same reason.
“Therefore, I faced a suspension from the House of four weeks. Whilst I believe that this is an excessive and unfair penalty, I cannot challenge the process further. I believe that the honourable and right thing to do now is to resign my seat and seek to rebuild my life elsewhere. I would ask for privacy for my family. This matter has also caused a great toll on my health, requiring my hospitalisation, and I ask that my privacy is respected while I recover.
“I will forever be grateful to my constituency, and my party, for giving me the honour to serve, and I apologise to the people of Chester, and to the House of Commons, for the disrepute I have brought. I once again apologise to the complainant in my case, for the hurt I have caused.”