Conservative MP accused of rape should be named when parliament returns, says alleged victim

Former minister in his 50s has been arrested and bailed pending police enquiries

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Tuesday 25 August 2020 11:23
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 The offences are alleged to have taken place in Westminster, Hackney and LambethThe offences are alleged to have taken place in Westminster, Hackney and Lambeth
The offences are alleged to have taken place in Westminster, Hackney and LambethThe offences are alleged to have taken place in Westminster, Hackney and Lambeth

The alleged victim of a Conservative MP arrested on suspicion of rape is calling for his identity to be made public when parliament returns from its summer break next week.

The woman, a former Commons researcher in her 20s, is understood to want an MP or peer to use parliamentary privilege to name the suspect in the chamber of the Commons or Lords.

A friend of the woman told the Daily Mail that she believes her alleged attacker should be named in order to ensure his constituents are informed about the allegations against him.

The former minister in his 50s was arrested earlier this month and released on bail pending enquiries into allegations of rape and sexual assault. He has not been named in the media because of concerns that it might lead to the identity of his alleged victim becoming known.

The Conservative Party has refused to suspend the MP, saying that the decision will be reviewed “once the police investigation has been concluded”.

But the Mail quoted the alleged victim’s friend as saying that she wanted him named so that vulnerable constituents can take appropriate precautions before coming into contact with him.

“She is only going down this route because of the lack of action by the Conservative Party,” said the friend.

“He should not under any circumstances be allowed to meet constituents and in any other workplace he would be suspended. He’s been arrested for a serious violent offence.

“It’s important he’s named so every constituent can take relevant precautions, it’s a public safety issue.

“He’s allowed to visit schools in his constituency, go to youth clubs, meet vulnerable adults, and assist women with rape cases and domestic abuse referrals.”

The woman reported four incidents alleged to have taken place between July 2019 and January 2020 in Westminster, Lambeth and Hackney. She alleged that the MP assaulted her, forced her to have sex and left her so traumatised on one occasion that she had to go to hospital.

MPs and peers have previously used parliamentary privilege to identify high-profile individuals accused of misconduct. In 2018, businessman Philip Green was named in parliament as having obtained an injunction to prevent the publication of bullying allegations.

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