Labour Party staffer accused of sexual assault and bullying resigns

Labour assaults: Staffer at centre of allegations resigns

Ardern sorry over party's handling of sex assault claims

In the most serious scandal Prime Minister Ardern has faced since she took office in late 2017, the leader admitted "mistakes were made" after a Labour Party volunteer accused a senior party staffer of assault past year.

Pressure is growing on Jacinda Ardern to explain when she was made aware of serious sexual assault allegations in her party after the staffer at the centre of the furore resigned.

Ms Ardern is still facing questions about the handling of the allegations against a party staffer based at Parliament, after yesterday's sudden resignation of the party President Nigel Haworth.

"I adamantly refute the serious allegations made against me".

Labour had launched an internal investigation into seven formal complaints about the staffer's behaviour, and ultimately concluded that no disciplinary action was warranted.

She said she was told by the party that "no complainant had come to them and claimed to them they'd been sexually assaulted". An investigation panel was set up by Labour's highest governing body, the NZ Council. Three months later, the staffer was cleared.

Mr Davenport said he had advised his client that it would be "completely inappropriate" to litigate the matters in the media and would not be doing so.

Senior Labour MP and minister Grant Robertson maintained he had acted appropriately throughout the sexual assault investigation into complaints against the Labour staffer. The alleged victim claimed the Labour party ignored her numerous official complaints about the matter. Newshub's Duncan Garner said the idea that the prime minister did not know about the allegations was a "massive stretch", while Stuff's Andrea Vance said the prime minister's insistence that she did not know was "hard to swallow".

The man has been working away from Parliament's precinct for the past five weeks.

The staffer's resignation is likely to be welcomed to the complainants, who said that Haworth's resignation was a step forward but the issue of safety remained.

Ms Ardern said her offer to meet with the complainants stands, and her office had extended that invitation through third-parties.

She said it was not a time-limited offer.

Yesterday Ardern said that she was seeking advice on what could be done about the staffer's employment status, keeping in mind that none of the complaints about him had been to his employer.

A complaint had been laid with Parliamentary Service, but it was not related to the staffer's employment.

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