Labour steps up investigation into MP Ivan Lewis
Labour has stepped up its investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour against MP Ivan Lewis.
The former minister has been under investigation following a complaint about his conduct and his case has now been referred to a full hearing of the party's constitutional committee by its ruling national executive committee (NEC).
The party is also expected to decide whether to refer another MP, Kelvin Hopkins, to the committee.
A Labour spokesman said: "After consideration of statements provided by the complainant and the respondent, the NEC's sexual harassment panel has agreed that on the balance of the evidence the matter should be referred to a full hearing of the national constitutional committee.
"The Labour Party will not be commenting further on this case until the conclusion of that hearing."
Mr Lewis was suspended in November following a complaint about his conduct.
Earlier that month BuzzFeed News reported that a woman alleged the Bury South MP had touched her leg and invited her to his house when she was 19 at a Labour Party event in 2010.
A statement issued through his lawyers at the time said Mr Lewis had "never made non-consensual sexual comments or sexual advances to women".
He added: "However, I understand that a few women have claimed that my behaviour made them feel uncomfortable.
"I have on occasion asked women I work with out for drinks or dinner, or developed strong feelings for them, and I am genuinely sorry if this was unwelcome or inappropriate in the circumstances, and caused anyone to feel awkward."
Mr Lewis is one of a number of Labour and Tory MPs to be investigated after allegations of Westminster sleaze.