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UK Labour MP facing suspension for bullying staff member

LONDON — A U.K. Labour Party MP will be suspended from the House of Commons for two days and offer a written apology after parliament’s standards watchdog found he bullied a former member of staff.

Liam Byrne, who was a Cabinet minister in Gordon Brown’s Labour government, “ostracized” a then member of his constituency staff over a period of months and cut off access to his emails, according to the standards commissioner.

The commissioner concluded that Byrne demonstrated “malicious behaviour that involved a significant misuse of power” — findings which were upheld by the independent panel which deals with the most serious allegations of misconduct against MPs.

David Barker, who agreed to be named in the panel’s report, said he felt “humiliated” in front of his colleagues and “deliberately alienated” by his former boss.

Byrne accepted the panel’s conclusions, saying in a statement that his conduct had “caused distress for which I am profoundly sorry” and highlighting his “genuine remorse about the impact on the individual concerned.” The MP added that he had apologized to Barker.

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