The Mail on Sunday has defended a story it published at the weekend about an aide to Unite boss Len McCluskey who was accused of “belittling” a female activist.
The Mail on Sunday story said Unite’s director of education Jim Mowatt faced “allegations of ‘degrading’ sexual harassment” made by the Unite activist Kate Bradley.
- June 24, 2015
- June 23, 2015
- April 25, 2014
Bradley accused Mowatt of taunting her by saying: “Does your mother know you’re wearing make up?”
Mowatt was also accused of saying: “She doesn’t have a boyfriend, I thought not.”
Bradley published a statement about the Mail on Sunday story on the same day.
In it she complained that the Mail on Sunday used her complaint to “undermine Unite, Jeremy Corbyn and the left, which is a totally cynical and unsanctioned use of my words”.
She also took issue with the Mail on Sunday publishing her name and other information despite her “explicit wishes”.
Bradley said this was the statement which she gave to the Mail on Sunday: “I submitted a complaint and it was dealt with efficiently by Unite. While sexism pervades society at every level, these incidents will continue to occur, but in this case Unite dealt with my complaint professionally and sympathetically and I remain a member of the union.
“I would like to ask that if you choose to publish, you do not publish my name or any identifying details in the article please.”
Bradley said in a post for the website RS21: “In printing my details in full, the Mail proved that it doesn’t care in the slightest about people who have experienced sexual harassment.
“What my complaint and Unite’s response to it should prove is that it is possible for cases like this to be handled well, in ways which empower and protect those reporting them.
“Where my complaint had the potential to bring about some positive change, its reprinting in the Mail for cynical purposes serves to entrench the problem, since it may deter women who have been sexually harassed from reporting what has happened.”
Responding to her statement, a Mail on Sunday spokesperson said: “There was a good public interest in reporting the story that Kate Bradley had made a complaint of sexist language against a leading figure in the Unite Union.
“She was complaining about an incident that had taken place at the Unite election count in front of other people. This is not the same as someone who has been a victim of sexual assault or unwanted sexual advances.
“In the interests of fully reporting the story, we saw no reason not to say who had made the complaint.”