Conservative MP arrested on suspicion of rape
A Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape.
The former Government minister, who has not been named, was taken into custody early on Saturday and later released on bail after being questioned at an east London police station..
The allegations relate to four separate incidents alleged to have taken place in Westminster, Lambeth and Hackney between July 2019 and January 2020, the Met Police said.
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A female ex-parliamentary employee in her twenties made the allegations, according to The Sunday Times.
Police launches probe
She alleges that the MP assaulted her, forced her to have sex and left her so traumatised that she had to go to hospital, the paper reports.
The Metropolitan Police said it had launched an investigation into the allegations.
File photo: four incidents are alleged to have taken place in London (Photo: pixabay)
“On Friday, 31 July, the Metropolitan Police Service received allegations relating to four separate incidents involving allegations of sexual offences and assault,” the force said in a statement.
“These offences are alleged to have occurred at addresses in Westminster, Lambeth and Hackney between July 2019 and January 2020.
“A man in his 50s was arrested on Saturday 1 August on suspicion of rape. He has been released on bail to return on a date in mid-August.”
Woman ‘spoke to chief whip’
A Conservative Party spokesman said: “We take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously. As this matter is now in the hands of the police it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
According to The Sunday Times, a fellow Conservative MP first raised the woman’s allegation with Mark Spencer, the chief whip, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, after speaking to the alleged victim a month ago.
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However, no action was taken by the chief whip, reports say.
The PA news agency understands Mr Spencer advised her to make a formal complaint to the authorities who would be able to investigate the claims.
A spokesman for Mr Spencer said: “The chief whip takes all allegations of harassment and abuse extremely seriously and has strongly encouraged anybody who has approached him to contact the appropriate authorities, including parliament’s independent complaints and grievance scheme.”
The Conservatives were already facing scrutiny over Theresa May’s decision to reinstate the whip for Charlie Elphicke in 2018 to bolster support for a key Commons Brexit vote.
Ex-MP Elphicke was convicted of three counts of sexual assault against two women on Thursday, prompting his wife to leave him.
Michael Fallon, then the defence secretary, and Damian Green, then Ms May’s de factor deputy Prime Minister, were among those accused of sexual misconduct at the height of the #MeToo movement, though neither faced charges.