Labour backbencher John Woodcock has been suspended from the Party following accusations that he harassed a former Labour staffer with inappropriate texts and emails. The events took place between 2014 and 2016 and continued even after the individual had left their job.
Woodcock has been an arch-critic of Jeremy Corbyn, repeatedly clashing with him over foreign and defence policy. Recently Woodcock attacked Corbyn in Parliament during a debate on the Sergei Skripal affair. Woodcock was a junior shadow minister under Ed Miliband but resigned immediately after Corbyn won his first leadership election in 2015. Woodcock had worked on Liz Kendal’s disastrous leadership campaign which saw her take just 5% of the vote.
During the summer coup in the Parliamentary Labour Party Woodcock threatened to speak from the front bench when the new shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis was at Glastonbury. Woodcock had been chair of the Backbench Defence Committee. It is not known what will happen to that role.
Ahead of the 2017 General Election Woodcock filmed a Facebook video for his constituents, stating he would never vote to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister. He clung on to his seat, ironically thanks to the national swing to Labour under the popular manifesto put forward by Corbyn.
The Progress supporting MP will now be investigated by the National Constitutional Committee.