Tory MP arrested on allegations of rape and sexual assault

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The arrest comes amid renewed scrutiny of sleaze in Westminster following a string of cases involving sexual misconduct…reports Asian Lite News

A Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

The man, in his fifties, has been asked to stay away from Parliament during the investigation by Chief Whip Chris Heaton Harris but has not had the whip suspended, meaning he remains a member of the Conservative Party.

The MP, who has not been named but is understood to be a backbencher, has been accused of carrying out sexual offences over a seven-year period.

A spokesperson for the government whips office said: “The Chief Whip has asked that the MP concerned does not attend the Parliamentary Estate while an investigation is ongoing.”

The accusations have been subject to a two-year investigation after first being reported to police in January 2020.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “A man was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in a public office.”

Scotland Yard said the alleged offences took place between 2002 and 2009 in London.

The Conservative Party will not make a decision on whether the suspect will have the whip withdrawn until after the criminal investigation is concluded.

The Prospect union, which represents hundreds of staff working in the Houses of Parliament, said firmer action is needed.

The union’s deputy general secretary, Garry Graham, said: “What will it take for Parliament to finally take its responsibility to its staff and visitors seriously and suspend access to the estate for parliamentarians under investigation for sexual offences? Parliament has the same responsibilities towards its staff as any other workplace.”

Graham added that Imran Ahmad Khan – the former Tory MP for Wakefield who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy last month – had attended Westminster whilst investigations were ongoing despite agreeing to stay away.

The arrest comes amid renewed scrutiny of sleaze in Westminster following a string of cases involving sexual misconduct.

Khan quit the Commons this month following his conviction and David Warburton had the Conservative whip withdrawn in April after allegations of sexual harassment and cocaine use emerged.

Tory MP for Tiverton and Honiton Neil Parish stepped down earlier this month after watching porn on his phone in the House of Commons chamber.

Over the past year, about 15 MPs were investigated by Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) watchdog, which examines allegations of bullying and harassment.

Conservative sources declined to identify the individual, citing the need to protect the identity of any complainant.

A spokesperson added: “Until the conclusion of the investigation we will not be commenting further.”

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