Chris Matheson Misconduct Scandal Explained

Chris Matheson was a member of the British parliament representing the city of Chester from 2015-2022. He was a member of the Labour Party.

Matheson resigned from Parliament in October 2022 after an investigation into sexual misconduct.

Complaints From Staff Triggered Matheson Investigation

Members of Matheson’s staff filed an official complaint against Matheson in Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme in May 2021.

Matheson was accused of inviting a staff member on a private trip to Gibraltar for the purpose of having a sexual affair. He was accused of making an unwanted advance and for pressuring and intimidating the woman he had made the offer to.

The accusations against Matheson were said to take place in 2019 and 2020.

UK Parliament
UK Parliament

Independent Expert Panel Investigation

The report with the findings of the Independent Expert Panel Investigation into Matheson was released on October 21 2022.

The report concluded that Matheson’s motivations for the trip invitation was “sexually motivated, unwanted, and had placed the complainant under pressure and intimidated her.”

The report said Matheson engaged in several behaviors that were “unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances,” saying he “invited her back to his flat, kissed her twice on the forehead and attempted to kiss her on the mouth.”

The report also said Matheson “linked arms with her and made personal comments about her appearance while looking at her suggestively” while they attended a work event outside of Parliament.

The panel said Matheson misled on the details of his behavior and that it was recommending a one month suspension from parliament.

Chris Matheson
Chris Matheson

Matheson Resigned

Matheson resigned from his position on October 21 2022.

Matheson released a statement: “I have today, with great sadness, tendered my resignation as MP for the City of Chester.” In the statement, Matheson said his offense was not as severe as the investigation found.

“From the start I accepted I had committed a minor breach of the code and had hoped that an honest and open approach would stand me in a fair light.”

“This has proven not to be the case and I am dismayed that I have been found guilty of several allegations that I know to be untrue.”

The Labour Party announced that Matheson had been suspended, and that a new election would be held to replace him: “We will now select a candidate that the people of Chester can be proud to vote for.”

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