A British newspaper reports former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell is under investigation for an alleged assault at Canada House in London (cbc.ca)

Former politician facing scrutiny over sexual assault allegations

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A British newspaper says Scotland Yard is investigating an allegation of sexual assault against a prominent former Canadian politician and diplomat.

Gordon Campbell was the 34th premier of British Columbia, a post he held from June of 2001 to March of 2011, and later served as
Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2016.

In a story published online Friday, the Daily Telegraph reports a 54-year-old woman says she was groped in 2013 and filed a complaint in January.

High Commissioner Gordon Campbell and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

According to the Daily Telegraph, Campbell’s alleged victim, Judith Prins, accuses him of groping her before a meeting at Canada House in Trafalgar Square..

She alleges a “hand went up my backside” as she climbed the main staircase on her way to a meeting.

At the time of the alleged incident, the woman was an employee at the Canadian High Commission in London.

Neither Scotland Yard nor Campbell has commented on the allegation and a spokesman for Campbell issued the following statement:

Former prime minister Stephen Harper talks with Gordon Campbell, then Canada’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, during a business roundtable in London in 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

“This complaint was transparently disclosed and became the subject of a full diligence investigation at the time by the Government of Canada and was found to be without merit.”

On the weekend, the Public relations firm Edelman said it was suspending a consulting arrangement with Campbell pending the British police investigation.

Observers say that even if the allegation is found to credible, it is unlikely Campbell would be charged because a 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations grants immunity from prosecution to diplomats in the countries where they are posted.

With files from CP, CBC, Globe and Mail, Global, Vancouver Sun

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Posted in International, Politics, Society

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