Former British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell is being investigated by Scotland Yard after an allegation of sexual assault was made against him by a female Canadian Embassy worker, according to the Telegraph newspaper.
The groping incident—alleged to have taken place in London in 2013 while Campbell was Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom—was the subject of a "formal allegation of sexual assault to police last month", the newspaper stated in an article today (February 15).
The Telegraph went on to report: "In a statement, a spokesman [for] the Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers were 'investigating an allegation of sexual assault that occurred in 2013.'
They added: 'A 54-year-old woman contacted police on 3 January 2019 and alleged she had been sexually assaulted at an address in Grosvenor Square. No arrests have been made at this stage. Enquiries are ongoing.'"
Campbell, who now resides in Ontario, was premier of B.C. for a decade, from 2001 to 2011; prior to that, he was the mayor of Vancouver from 1986 to 1993. He was the leader of the B.C. Liberals from 1993 to 2011, and he resigned as premier in March 2011. Also in 2011, he was made a recipient of the Order of British Columbia, and he has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
The Telegraph also reported that an unnamed spokesperson for Campbell stated: "This complaint was transparently disclosed and became the subject of a full due diligence investigation at the time by the government of Canada and was found to be without merit.”
The complainant, Judith Prins, is a Dutch-Canadian mother of three and resides in the U.K. Prins alleged that the groping incident took place before a meeting at Canada House. She told the Telegraph that her original formal complaint, made in January 2014, was resolved in a manner she is prohibited from revealing.
The paper said of the groping that Prins had been climbing a staircase on her way to a meeting and was unaware that Campbell was close behind her. She told the paper that Campbell's hand "found its way below her midriff, uninvited, before landing firmly on the right side of her bottom".
Prins told the Telegraph: "In that moment it just felt as though someone had just invaded my home or robbed me...I distinctly remember this hand went up my backside. It was significant. It wasn’t, ‘Oops, sorry I brushed you.’ It was definitely someone having a feel.”
She went on to say: “I was shocked when we were in the meeting because he just carried on as if it was business as usual. He was just unashamedly being normal, absolutely no regard for what he had just done to me. I think that’s just where I had to file it away in my mind. I didn’t know how to process it at the time.”
In 2003, while premier of B.C., Campbell was arrested in Hawaii for driving under the influence of alcohol; his blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit. He pleaded no contest and paid a fine, and the court ordered him to be asessed for alcoholism and to attend a substance-abuse program.
The province of Manitoba hired Campbell last October to conduct a review of two major hydroelectric projects.More