Bambos Charalambous is currently being investigated by the Labour Party following a conduct complaint made last June
Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous has not voted in the House of Commons for nearly nine months since being suspended by Labour – leaving constituents to wonder “what the hell is going on”.
Charalambous was suspended in early June last year after an allegation was made against him by a female MP, leading to his suspension by the Labour Party. He had been serving in Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet at the time.
The complaint prompted an investigation by Labour, but this has dragged for several months while requests from the Dispatch for an update have gone ignored.
It has now emerged that Charalambous, while still serving as an independent MP and carrying on with constituency work, has not voted in parliament since 24th May 2023. Among the votes missed was the call for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza last November.
The Dispatch understands that Charalambous has either been told or has voluntarily agreed not to attend parliament while the investigation into his conduct continues – although the Enfield Southgate MP has not responded to a request for comment on this.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed that a general election will be taking place this year, with May remaining a possible date. But three months out from a potential poll, constituents are in the dark about whether their current MP will be able stand as a Labour candidate for the newly-formed Southgate and Wood Green seat.
One such constituent is New Southgate resident Kathie Burke, who contacted the Dispatch to express her anger over the situation. She said: “Why is he not voting, even as an independent? You can’t help but wonder what the hell is going on.
“I’m angry. We are not getting the information we need – we should be told what is happening because effectively our views are not being represented in parliament.”
Charalambous was first elected to the House of Commons in 2017, in one of the surprise results of that year’s general election.
As a floating voter, Kathie added: “I want to know who is going to stand for Labour and what the options are.”
Another constituent, Richard Mapleston from Palmers Green, emailed to ask: “In my view he [Charalambous] is being denied natural justice. And we, his constituents, deserve better.
“Is this democracy, Labour style?”
Both the Labour Party and Bambos Charalambous were approached for comment but did not respond.
At the time of his suspension last June, the Enfield Southgate MP said: “I am aware that there is an allegation that requires investigation by the Labour Party. It is right and proper that process is allowed to take place.
“I will co-operate fully and play my full part. It is not appropriate to say anything further at this time.”
Last week, Edmonton MP Kate Osamor became the second borough parliamentarian to be suspended by Labour after comments she made about Gaza in a newsletter.