Sex harassment claim an attack: Labor MP

Tom Rabe

A NSW Labor MP accused of sexually harassing a staffer has described the allegations as a political attack just days after being cleared by an inquiry conducted by an ALP-appointed barrister.

Prospect MP Hugh McDermott on Tuesday categorically denied claims he had sexually and verbally harassed a staff member, telling parliament the "independent assessment" had found no substance to the allegations.

"It is incumbent on everyone involved in politics from all political parties not to use false sexual harassment allegations as a political weapon or for personal political advantage," Dr McDermott told parliament.

Labor in March commissioned an assessment of the ex-staffer's complaints which included accusations that Dr McDermott sexually and verbally harassed her.

The inquiry was carried out by barrister John Whelan who's previously acted as a senior adviser to both state and federal Labor leaders.

Mr Whelan found the claims of sexual harassment, workplace bullying, inappropriate behaviour and misuse of electoral allowance were "not made out".

However, the report did advise Dr McDermott to "elevate his language to the high professional standards expected of an MP".

Mr Whelan interviewed both the MP and the staffer concerned, according to a NSW Labor statement.

Dr McDermott said his teenage daughter had learned of the sexual harassment allegations on social media.

"It is devastating to be a target of this sort of attack - devastating to me and to my family," he told parliament.

"It has undermined my standing in the Prospect community."

Dr McDermott, who at times became emotional during his address, was later comforted by Labor MPs.