Calls to suspend Stephen Greenhalgh after allegations he patted colleague's bottom
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Featured, Housing
There have been calls for Stephen Greenhalgh, the Mayor of London's policing and crime deputy, to be suspended while he is investigated for allegedly patting a colleague's bottom.
Mayor Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into claims that Mr Greenhalgh - the Government's former 'Housing and Construction' champion - inappropriately touched a junior female staff member in a lift last month.
Len Duvall, leader of the Labour Group on the London Assembly, said: "At my request and under pressure the mayor has finally decided to set up an investigation into these allegations, this will be headed up by City Hall's monitoring officer.
"We are pleased that he is taking these sensible steps, but it is a pity he didn't do so yesterday when he found out about these allegations. However, due to the seriousness of these allegations the Mayor should suspend Mr Greenhalgh from his position of deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime while this investigation is underway."
The alleged harassment came to light when the junior staff member told a colleague, who then told management. No complaint has been made.
Mr Greenhalgh has said that he has "no recollection of this event and understand no complaint has been made".
He added that he would like to "apologise unreservedly for anything that could be or may have been construed as inappropriate on my part".
However, Mr Duvall responded that "the statement made by Stephen Greenhalgh is absurd. If he didn't do anything wrong why did he apologise? Boris Johnson needs to get to the root of this immediately. It is completely unacceptable that someone in such a senior position cannot recollect whether such a serious incident occurred only a few weeks ago".
Mayor Johnson met with Mr Greenhalgh - a 43-year-old father of three - on Tuesday to discuss the allegations, but his office has not confirmed whether he was cautioned or not, the Metro reported.
Mr Duvall added: "Regardless of whether a formal complaint is made or not this needs investigating. These allegations should be treated with the utmost seriousness. This type of alleged behaviour is completely unacceptable and if these allegations turn out to be true then the Mayor needs to set an example and remove Mr Greenhalgh from his position permanently. The Mayor needs to take all necessary steps to stop a culture developing where people think they can get away with this kind of behaviour. Mr Greenhalgh occupies a very senior position within the Metropolitan Police and he is responsible for maintaining the highest standards in our police service."