The Swansea Labour MP Carolyn Harris – who was personally endorsed for election as Welsh Labour’s deputy leader by Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty is now under pressure to resign from her frontbench role in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet.
Mrs Harris is Labour’s shadow “equalities minister” – and is supposed to stand up for sexual minorities such as Lesbians Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered people.
Now a Labour Assembly Member Jenny Rathbone has called for Mrs Harris to stand down to clear her name after a Cardiff Crown Court trial heard that Mrs Harris had applied the derogatory term “dyke” to her former office manager – who is gay.
The court had also heard Mrs Harris deny having assaulted her office manager, Jenny Lee Clarke and pulling chunks out of her hair.
Mrs Harris had initiated a fraud case against Jenny Clarke – but Mrs Clarke was cleared of all charges .
A senior Labour left-wing activist Jon Lansman has called on Jeremy Corbyn to suspend Mrs Harris.
Meanwhile Welsh Government minister Hannah Blythyn has said she is “disappointed and saddened” at the alleged homophic language used by Mrs Harris – who was narrowly elected Welsh Labour’s Deputy Leader in April .
Stephen Doughty the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth – who is himself gay – had enthusiastically endorsed the election of Carolyn Harris as Welsh Labour Deputy Leader.
Some in the Labour Party are now questioning his judgement. Doughty has yet to comment on the latest developments
It’s reported that Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones – who is due to retire shortly – has “full confidence” in Mrs Harris as Welsh Labour’s Deputy Leader but as yet has not made any official statement.
Labour AM Jenny Rathbone – calling for Mrs Harris to resign as Welsh Labour’s Deputy Leader – said “There’s a clearly a question mark as to whether it is appropriate for Mrs Harris to continue“. Ms Rathbone said “had all these issues been known about before the election I think it would have affected the number of people who put in their votes for Mrs Harris” .
Jon Lansman, chairman of “Momentum” and a member of Labour’s ruling body the National Executive Committee, said: “I don’t believe that Carolyn Harris can continue as a frontbench spokesperson on equalities when she has been accused in open court with supportive evidence of her former MP and then employer of homophobic abuse. “I think she needs to be removed from her current role as equalities spokesperson”
Four other Labour AM’s have also now backed calls for Mrs Harris to be fired