Former NDP MP apologizes if his 'touchy' behaviour offended anyone

HALIFAX - Former New Democrat MP Peter Stoffer is apologizing for any offensive behaviour, a day after allegations of inappropriate touching and kissing were levelled against him by women during his time in Ottawa.

The popular former politician held a news conference in Halifax Friday where he said he was ``deeply apologetic and regretful'' following claims dating back to 2006 when Stoffer was the MP for the suburban riding of Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook.

Stoffer told reporters gathered outside Pier 21 that he is ``a touchy person'' and that ``if anyone feels those actions were untoward, then I deeply apologize.''

In allegations made public Thursday, one of the complainants, Lauren Dobson-Hughes, accused him of grabbing and kissing her without her consent on two separate occasions in 2006 and 2009.

Dobson-Hughes, who was an NDP staffer at the time of the alleged incidents, told the National Post that several other MPs and senior staff were present at the second alleged incident ``but nobody batted an eyelid.''

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Thursday that he is ``deeply disturbed'' by the allegations and the party would continue to ``review, renew and expand'' its harassment policies.