KEIR Starmer is facing calls to suspend one of Labour’s longest serving MPs after he appeared to make light of a colleague’s claims that he had been sexually assaulted at Westminster on multiple occasions.

Barry Sheerman, who has been a Huddersfield Labour MP continuously since 1979, has been accused of an “absolutely disgusting” response to the headline-making revelations from Chris Bryant.

Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhondda and an openly gay parliamentarian, had published extracts from his new book – Code of Conduct: Why We Need to Fix Parliament and How to Do it – in the i paper.

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He wrote: “Over the years five male MPs have felt my bottom uninvited…

“One of them, who was not out, did so repeatedly. Another, who is still in the House and still does not accept that he is gay, pushed me against a wall and felt my crotch.

"Another rubbed himself behind me in the queue to vote and was later snogging two men in the Strangers’ Bar. I know other gay MPs and staff who have faced the same.”

He made similar claims to LBC in 2022, telling the radio station: “I remember when I came out in 2001, I was regularly touched up by older, senior, gay – they weren’t out – MPs.”

Bryant’s allegations made headlines in the UK media on Wednesday morning, with the Guardian, Times, Independent, and Telegraph among the papers to report it.

Writing on X, the website formerly called Twitter, Sheerman appeared to make light of Bryant’s allegations of sexual assault.

He wrote: “I understand our colleague Chris Bryant is very keen to sell copies of his book.”

Sheerman, who in late 2021 said he will step down as an MP at the next General Election, is facing calls to lose the whip after the comment.

“Whip – removed – now,” one Labour member wrote on social media.

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“Labour need to withdraw the whip for this comment. Sexual violence is never ever acceptable. No matter what sex the victim is,” another user added.

A third wrote: “Politicians lament our increasingly toxic culture and then respond to a colleague disclosing sexual assaults like this. Reprehensible.”

Labour and Sheerman were asked for comment. While Labour have yet to reply, Sheerman's office directed The National to a new post on social media.

The MP wrote: "Deleted an earlier tweet I worded poorly, it wasn't my intention to diminish victims' experiences."