Labour demand PM strips scandal-hit Harvey Weinstein of his CBE over sex assault claims

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Labour called for scandal-hit Harvey Weinstein to be stripped of his CBE over sex assault claims engulfing the Hollywood mogul.

The gong risks “bringing the honours system into disrepute” and showing “our government does not take women’s voices or allegations of sexual harassment seriously”, said five senior MPs.

Their open letter to Theresa May called for Mr Weinstein to lose his honorary CBE, awarded by the Queen in 2004 for services to British film, after women made allegations of sexual harassment and rape to the US media.

They wrote: “These revelations prove that Mr Weinstein has fallen far short of the standards we expect from recipients of a CBE.

“His continued membership runs the risk of bringing the honours system into disrepute and, moreover, sending the deeply troubling signal that our Government does not take women’s voices or allegations of sexual harassment seriously.”

“We are therefore calling upon your Government to act urgently and strip Mr. Weinstein of his honorary CBE.”

MP Jess Phillips
Jess Phillips, the Chair of the Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party has signed the letter

The letter was signed by Jess Phillips, the Chair of the Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party , and shadow ministers Chi Onwurah, Jack Dromey, Dawn Butler and Kevin Brennan.

Earlier this week Downing Street said Theresa May was “concerned by the allegations” against Mr Weinstein, but any decision was for the independent Honours Forfeiture Committee.

The secretive Committee has three members, two of whom are anonymous, and is chaired by top civil servant Sir Jonathan Stephens.

The process of stripping an honour must begin with a complaint to the separate Honours and Appointments Secretariat.

The Secretariat then compiles evidence for the Forfeiture Committee. Any decision to strip an honour must be signed off by the Queen.

Labour MPs are calling on the government to strip the movie mogul of his CBE over sex assault claims

Forfeiture Committee meetings are not announced or advertised - only the final decision is.

Ms Onwurah added: “These allegations of sexual harassment and assault need to be taken seriously.

“It is unacceptable that someone accused of these appalling and potentially criminal acts should retain the honour of a CBE.

“The Government should act swiftly to start the process of stripping Weinstein’s CBE from him, or it will send a profoundly worrying message about the value it places on women’s voices, our safety, our working environment and as a consequence the UK economy.”

Scott Blair - UK News
By Scott Blair - UK News 11/10/2017 11:09:00