BARROW MP John Woodcock has welcomed a decision to allow an allegation of sexual harassment against him to finally be investigated.

Mr Woodcock wrote to the newly-established Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme earlier this week after MPs voted to allow non-recent complaints to be investigated by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

In July 2018 the MP quit Labour and claimed he would not get a fair hearing by party bosses in relation to an allegation of sexual harassment made by a former aide.

He continued as an independent MP and said he would welcome a parliamentary investigation into the complaint.

In light of the increasing likelihood of a General Election Mr Woodcock asked the PCS to ensure the investigation would still be carried out even if he lost his seat as Barrow MP.

Mr Woodcock said: "I am pleased parliament’s independent complaints service has confirmed it is prepared to investigate non-recent issues no matter what the current status of the respondent.

"So those making complaints against MPs need not fear their route to justice may be cut off by a general election.

"After more than two years, there is now finally a genuinely independent body prepared to investigate fairly the complaint which was made against me, should the complainant wish to take the matter forwards.

"Though I strongly reject the accusation that was made at the time and was not prepared to accept the way Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was manipulating its complaints process to protect the leader’s friends and silence his critics, I said when I left the party that I was committed to finding a route for both sides to get the justice impossible in Labour’s corrupted system.

"The shortcomings of Mr Corbyn’s system have been further exposed since I left in the way antisemitism complaints have been handled.

"Since becoming independent I have urged the parliamentary authorities to cease delaying their commitment to open up its new procedure to issues occurring before 2017.

"So it is a relief that this route is now finally available and will remain so even if parliament is dissolved.

"I hope this information may be useful to other complainants and respondents who have not been able to have issues fairly resolved by the internal processes of political parties."

In his resignation letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Woodcock argued the 'refusal to appoint an independent investigator' to his disciplinary case proved the process has been manipulated.

He had been suspended by the party six months the allegation was first made when details and speculation of his impending resignation from Labour were leaked to a newspaper. He was not suspended immediately after the allegation was made. 

The MP has represented Barrow and Furness since 2010 and won it again with a slim 209 majority in 2017.