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Labor MP Liam Byrne suspended for two days for bullying assistant

Liam Byrne - Official portraits of the British Parliament 2017

The former minister’s actions were said to be a ‘significant abuse of power’ (Image: Chris McAndrew / British Parliament)

ONE Labor MP to be suspended from House of Commons for two days after bullying a former assistant.

Liam Byrne abused his position of power and ousted the employee by ceasing personal contact with him for several months, a disciplinary panel found.

He also denied him access to his parliamentary IT account in what was described as a ‘significant abuse of power’ by Parliamentary Standard Commissioner Kathryn Stone.

A recommendation to suspend him has been made by the House’s independent panel of experts, which found a breach of parliament’s bullying and harassment policies.

Panel members said Mr Byrne “sought to present his actions as a reasonable HR strategy”.

But they added: ‘We disagree. It was bullying. He should, as he now accepts, have tackled any offense through a proper disciplinary process, not by expelling the complainant. ‘

The punishment depends on Mr Byrne also giving a written apology to the complainant.

He must undertake training and take steps to address the causes of his behavior and weaknesses in the management of his office.

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