Labour MP calls for Harvey Weinstein to be stripped of CBE

Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse as jury deliberations continue in his rape trial, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, i
Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse as jury deliberations continue in his rape trial, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A fresh request has been made for disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to be stripped of his CBE.

Senior Labour MP Chi Onwurah wrote to officials in the Cabinet Office calling for the honour to be removed following the Hollywood producer’s rape conviction.

A New York City jury found Weinstein guilty of rape and sexual assault on Monday, leaving him facing the prospect of decades behind bars.

The Newcastle upon Tyne Central MP has been calling for the CBE to be removed from Weinstein since 2017 but said it was “implied that until a conviction was obtained” he would be allowed to “enjoy his honour”.

In a letter to Helen Ewen, head of the honours and appointments secretariat in the Cabinet Office, Ms Onwurah said: “In light of the guilty verdict, will the Secretariat finally strip Mr Weinstein of his CBE as I first requested on 11 October 2017?

“Or will they continue to honour Mr Weinstein at the expense of all those who have experienced sexual violence and especially his victims?”

It is possible to remove an honour on the advice of the forfeiture committee and with the approval of the Queen.

The committee will consider whether the holder of an honour has brought the system into disrepute.

Buckingham Palace reception for the Dramatic Arts
The Queen with Harvey Weinstein at a Buckingham Palace reception in 2014 (Yui Mok/PA)

Ms Onwurah said: “This is not only an issue of justice for his victims, or the reputation of the honours system, it is also an issue of safety in the workplace – whether on a film set or a shop floor, the workplace must never be a safe space for sexual predators.”

Ms Onwurah said the honorary CBE granted in 2004 was “for services to the film industry” but “we have long been aware of the nature of these ‘services’ and the impact they have had upon so many women”.

Downing Street said Weinstein’s honour was a matter for the independent panel but added that Boris Johnson’s Government was “crystal clear” in its condemnation of sexual abuse.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s a matter for the independent honours forfeiture committee to consider cases where the honours system has been brought into disrepute.

“We are crystal clear that any unwanted sexual behaviour is completely unacceptable and we condemn sexual violence in all of its forms.”

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