A Jewish Labour MP in north Manchester accused of sexual harassment has had his disciplinary case referred to the party’s highest internal body.

Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South, said he would “cooperate fully” as his case went to a full hearing of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, which has the power to kick people out.

Lewis, a parliamentarian for 20 years who served as a minister in Labour government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, was suspended in November over allegations that he touched a 19-year old woman inappropriately. Other woman are believed to have also made complaints about him.

Lewis said he had “never made non-consensual sexual comments or sexual advances to women” but added: “I understand that a few women have claimed that my behaviour made them feel uncomfortable.”

He said: “I have on occasion asked women I work with out for drinks or dinner, or developed strong feelings for them, and I am genuinely sorry if this was unwelcome or inappropriate in the circumstances, and caused anyone to feel awkward.”