Jacinda Ardern says Labour 'failed the young people' as party suspends youth events

The Labour Party says they "failed the young people" attending Young Labour camps and will take immediate steps to ensure a safe environment at future events after reports of sexual misconduct emerged.

“As a result of the incidents at the Waihi Summer Camp we have taken the decision to immediately suspend all Young Labour events,” said Labour Party President Nigel Haworth in a statement released this afternoon.

“We need to take the time to properly review issues around how best to create the safest possible environment at all our events."

Andrew Kirton said an external person may be brought in to review the alleged assaults. Source: Breakfast

Mr Haworth says that an independent review will take place to review the policies and procedures in place at the youth events.

"A comprehensive external review will be undertaken by a respected independent person shortly working alongside the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. This will review our policies and procedures in relation to these events including those by Labour's sector groups, and also Waihi."

He also announced that alcohol will not be allowed at any future events where those under 18 are present.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also weighed in with some strong statements on the issue.

"We failed the young people who told us they had been hurt – this failure left them feeling abandoned and I am deeply sorry for that. It's not good enough, we let them down.

"Given that a complaint has now been laid with the Police I cannot comment on the specifics, but I want to reiterate that we did not do the right thing fast enough in dealing with these incidents.

"Our young party members are our future. They work hard for our cause and we must ensure they can do so in a safe and supportive environment," Ms Ardern said.

Labour says that General Secretary Andrew Kirton will be making contact with all attendees at the Waihi Summer Camp to apologise and offer any support they need.

The Prime Minister says she'll investigate "because that is not the behaviour that I would expect of any Labour function".
Source: 1 NEWS