Mulcair defends silence of alleged victims

WATCH: NDP leader Tom Mulcair defends the party’s handling of the alleged sexual assaults in Parliament.

OTTAWA – Tom Mulcair says two female New Democrat MPs shouldn’t be pushed to lodge formal complaints against two of their Liberal counterparts, no matter how serious their allegations might be.

The NDP leader says no one has the right to decide for victims what they should do or how fast they should do it.

The Canadian Press has learned that NDP MP Craig Scott, a former law professor, told the Liberals that one of the misconduct incidents – as it was described to him -amounted to an allegation of sexual assault.

Multiple sources say Scott issued that assessment during a behind-the-scenes meeting on Oct. 30 with the Liberal and NDP whips, to which he had accompanied one of the alleged victims.

Story continues below advertisement

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has said it was the seriousness of the allegations that prompted him to suspend Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews from his caucus, despite their denials of any wrongdoing. Trudeau has refused since then to elaborate on the nature of the complaints.

The NDP women, who never wanted the matter made public, have so far refused to lodge a formal complaint or take part in an independent investigation, which has left Pacetti and Andrews in limbo.