A Conservative MP claims a Labour colleague made “malicious” remarks designed to “scare” him away from helping a female parliamentary worker who raised allegations of sexual harassment, according to evidence before a tribunal.

Andrew Bridgen, who represents North West Leicestershire, told the Central London Employment Tribunal that Labour MP Kate Hollern suggested he “keep away” from the complainant because “her party colleagues thought they were having an affair”.

The ongoing tribunal is hearing evidence in relation to a woman, known only as Ms A, who claims former Labour Hartlepool MP Mike Hill carried out a campaign of sexual harassment and bullying against her over a 16-month period while he was in office.

Giving evidence remotely on Wednesday, Mr Bridgen said Ms A had confided in him that she was allegedly being “sexually harassed and sexually assaulted”.

He told the tribunal this had left him feeling “pretty upset”, but Ms A had initially not wanted him to intervene.

Mr Bridgen said he observed the impact on Ms A’s “mental health and wellbeing”.

In his written evidence, a copy of which was provided to the PA news agency by Ms A’s lawyers, Mr Bridgen said he had advised Ms A to seek legal advice and he had also approached the Leader of the House of Commons for advice, passing on an email response.

He said in his statement that on one occasion he was approached by Blackburn MP Ms Hollern, “while sitting on the terrace of the House of Commons”, who said she needed to speak to him away from other MPs.

He wrote: “Kate Hollern, MP said: ‘Everyone is saying in the Labour Party that you are having an affair with [Ms A] and if I were you I would keep away from her, because you have a wife and baby and you would not want to lose them if it got in the papers.’

“I told Kate Hollern, MP: ‘This is rubbish.’ In truth I was shocked, as Ms A is only a friend who asked me for some help and I regarded Kate Hollern MP’s remarks as malicious and designed to scare me away from offering Ms A any help or support.”

On Wednesday, Mr Bridgen was asked by tribunal member David Carter if this part of his statement represented “tittle tattle”.

The MP rejected this suggestion, saying it was “to isolate the applicant (Ms A) from any help and support”.

He added that it was “pretty appalling” and said: “It was quite malicious and I don’t respond well to intimidation like that I can assure you.”

In his written statement, Mr Bridgen said he had informed Ms A of what Ms Hollern had told him, with Ms A later telling him over the phone “she was ill and would not be coming into work”.

He said he later wrote a letter marked as “To Whom It May Concern” for Ms A setting out previous events that aimed to “support” her and for her to use “as she deemed appropriate”.

After this he had “no further involvement” with Ms A while she was working in Parliament, Mr Bridgen said in his statement.

The tribunal also heard on Wednesday that Mr Hill confessed to having “feelings” for Ms A and regretted, but accepted, they would not have a physical relationship.

It has already been told the ex-MP allegedly made Ms A feel “scared, extremely confused, violated and powerless”.

She claimed that Mr Hill sent her texts with messages such as “I crave your body”, before progressing to groping her and rubbing his erect penis against her body in his London flat.

On Wednesday, under ongoing cross-examination, she claimed he sent her messages saying “I love you”, adding that he “wanted a sexual relationship”.

Ms A rejected suggestions that her claims against Mr Hill were not true.

Mr Hill was suspended from the Labour Party in September 2019 over the allegations, but was reinstated in October of that year to fight the general election.

He resigned from his seat in March of this year, triggering a by-election that saw his seat taken by the Conservatives.

Mrs Hollern meanwhile has said that she never intended to undermine support that Ms A was recieving.  

She said: “I am absolutely clear that any complaint of sexual harassment should be treated extremely seriously and had this been raised with me I would have taken the necessary action.

“It was never my intention to undermine the support the complainant was receiving, which I was unaware of at the time.

"If that is what Mr Bridgen was led to believe, I apologise for my error in judgement in having the conversation.”

The tribunal, which is due to last a week-and-a-half, continues.