Subject: Re John Woodcock’s resignation
I am writing with regards to your story published on www.nwemail.co.uk on 18th July 2018 announcing John Woodcock’s resignation from the Labour Party. I am concerned about the way the framing of this story – which unquestioningly reproduces John Woodcock’s own self-protecting narrative – contributes to the silencing of the woman John Woodcock is accused of sexually harassing. John Woodcock was suspended from the Labour whip due to very serious allegations of sexual harassment. In resigning he has prevented the woman who accused him of this the due process of an investigation and ultimately any justice.
In his letter he states that he has ‘clear evidence’ that the investigation was being manipulated for factional purposes. Why did he not show this evidence in his letter? He showed evidence he was unpopular within the Party, but no evidence that the investigation (which was not being carried out by any ‘faction’) into this very serious allegation was being rigged. In resigning he has turned the screw on the woman, asserting his power to control the narrative for his own benefit and preventing the process of justice being done.
Every time a woman who alleges sexual harassment is denied from having her case heard and investigated, it makes it even harder for other women to come forward and stand up for their absolute right to not be subjected to the sexualised assertion of power in the workplace, a right which is enshrined in law. As a woman I am appalled by this disgraceful and cowardly betrayal by John Woodcock, in denying his female employee her right to an investigation.
Dr Kate Random Love,
Women’s Officer for Westmorland and Lonsdale Constituency Labour Party