Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer
Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer immediately removed the whip from Davies in light of the allegations. TOBY MELVILLE/Reuters

Labour MP Geraint Davies has had the whip suspended after claims of sexual harassment were made by five women.

Davies, who has represented constituency Swansea West since 2010, is now facing an investigation after the allegations were made anonymously via the political website "POLITICO".

Those who were allegedly victims of sexual advances from Davies claim they neglected to make formal complaints due to a lack of confidence that they would be taken seriously.

However, Labour was quick to describe the claims of "completely unacceptable behaviour" as "incredibly serious" and said it strongly encouraged anyone who wanted to make a formal complaint to come forward.

"Any complainant will have access to an independent support service that provides confidential and independent guidance and advice from external experts throughout the process," a spokesperson for the party added.

POLITICO spoke to more than 20 people who worked with Davies in parliament, including serving MPs and current and former members of Labour Party staff.

They described a pattern of excessive drinking, sexual comments and unwanted touching by Davies stretching back at least five years, directed exclusively at younger women in the workplace.

According to Labour sources, Davies' behaviour has been somewhat of an open secret in certain parts of the Party, but no action was taken in the absence of a formal complaint.

However, Davies responded to the allegations by saying that he "didn't recognise the allegations suggested and does not know who has made them."

"None of them, as far as I know, has been lodged as complaints with the Labour Party or parliament," the veteran politician said.

He added that if he had inadvertently offended anyone, then he was naturally sorry.

Davies, 63, has been an MP for decades. He was first elected in Croydon Central between 1997 to 2005, until he lost his seat, and then again in Swansea West in 2010.

While never having been a frontbencher, he is a longstanding member of the Commons Welsh affairs committee. He also became interim chair of the environment select committee after the Tory MP Neil Parish stepped down for watching pornography in parliament.

In the past, Davies has been vocal in his support of alleged victims of sexual harassment in British Politics.

In 2017, when several women came forward with allegations against MPs, Davies spoke of the need to tackle "an endemic cultural problem" at Westminster.

Since then, Westminster has been hit by further waves of bullying and harassment scandals, with four MPs forced to stand down since the last general election because of sexual misconduct.

In April, Deputy PM Dominic Raab resigned from the government following an independent investigation into complaints that he bullied colleagues.

The independent report by lawyer Adam Tolley found that Raab had acted in a way that was "intimidating" and "persistently aggressive" while at the Foreign Office.

And In light of these latest allegations, Stephen Kinnock, the shadow immigration minister, said his party and its whips were "very alive" to the problem of harassment in Westminster.

"The key thing is that when something like this happens, a formal complaint must be made," Kinnock told Times Radio. "And I do genuinely believe that our whips and our party are very alive to this issue. People get suspended, they lose the whip, investigations take place."

Kinnock says that the party must make sure that "anyone who does feel that they have a complaint to make knows that they can do so in confidence and that they will be treated with respect and confidentiality and action will be taken."

Whilst emphasising that the abuse of power in politics was "completely and utterly unacceptable" the shadow immigration minister suggested the situation had improved in recent years.

"I got elected to parliament in 2015. And we've of course had many, many very troubling stories since then, but I hope things may have improved a bit since the #MeToo movement."

The allegations against Davies represent a blow to Labour, who have been riding a wave of positivity in recent weeks following their local election success, which showed they were on course to win a majority in the next general election.