LABOUR has stepped up its investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour against MP Ivan Lewis.

The MP for Bury South has been under investigation following a complaint about his conduct and his case has now been referred to a full hearing of the party's constitutional committee by its ruling national executive committee (NEC).

The party is also expected to decide whether to refer another MP, Kelvin Hopkins, to the committee.

A Labour spokesman said: "After consideration of statements provided by the complainant and the respondent, the NEC's sexual harassment panel has agreed that on the balance of the evidence the matter should be referred to a full hearing of the national constitutional committee.

"The Labour Party will not be commenting further on this case until the conclusion of that hearing."

Mr Lewis said: "I note the decision of the Labour Party to refer this matter to a full hearing of the National Constitutional Committee.

"I will continue to co-operate fully with any investigation."

Mr Lewis is currently suspended from the Labour party pending the outcome of the investigation.