Former Chesterfield MP fights bullying claims

Former Chesterfield MP Paul Holmes.
Former Chesterfield MP Paul Holmes.

Former Chesterfield MP Paul Holmes has allegedly been found to have bullied Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Julia Cambridge after she submitted a complaint about her fellow party member.

Mrs Cambridge complained to the party that she had been subjected to bullying between January and June.

An independent investigator found there was a case to answer and following a panel hearing, Mr Holmes was allegedly found to have bullied Mrs Cambridge.

Mrs Cambridge said: “I don’t wish to comment on the matter of bullying or how it has affected me or what the disciplinary panel has decided at this stage. But an investigation has found in my favour and upheld my complaint. I understand sanctions have occurred and they are subject to an appeal.”

Mr Holmes was a Lib Dem Chesterfield MP following Labour’s Tony Benn but he lost the seat in 2010 to current Labour MP Toby Perkins. The former school teacher worked at Brookfield Community School, Buxton College and was head of the sixth form at Buxton Community School. He joined the Social Democratic Party in 1983 and was a councillor from 1987 to 1995 for Brimington South and a Chesterfield Borough Councillor from 1999 to 2003 for Walton. Mr Holmes was also a Shadow Minister for Justice.

Former fashion designer Mrs Cambridge is the first woman to represent Chesterfield as a parliamentary candidate. Mr Holmes said an appeal was underway and he has been unavailable for further comment. A Lib Dem party spokesman said it received complaints about a dispute and the matter is ongoing.