Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape banned from parliament

Kate Devlin
Tuesday 17 May 2022 20:23 BST
The arrest comes just weeks after Westminster was rocked by another round of ‘Pestminster’ allegations
The arrest comes just weeks after Westminster was rocked by another round of ‘Pestminster’ allegations (Reuters)

A Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault. The Metropolitan Police said a man in his fifties was in custody over allegations that date from between 2002 and 2009.

The unnamed MP has been asked by his party’s whips not to attend parliament while a police investigation is ongoing.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “In January 2020, the Met received a report relating to alleged sexual offences having been committed between 2002 and 2009. The offences are alleged to have occurred in London.

“An investigation is ongoing, led by officers from Central Specialist Crime. A man, aged in his fifties, was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust, and misconduct in public office. He remains in custody.”

The arrest comes just weeks after Westminster was rocked by another round of “Pestminster” allegations against sitting MPs. They led to the resignation of one Tory MP, Neil Parish, after he admitted he had watched pornography in the Commons chamber.

Last month, disgraced former Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan resigned after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. His victim said that he had alerted the Conservative Party before Mr Khan was elected an MP, but his warnings had gone unheeded.

There were also reports that three cabinet ministers were among 56 MPs said to have been accused of sexual misconduct and referred to parliament’s sleaze watchdog. The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme was set up in the wake of the #MeToo movement and after a previous round of allegations against parliamentarians, during which the name “Pestminster” was coined.

A Conservative Whips’ Office spokesperson said: “The chief whip has asked that the MP concerned does not attend the parliamentary estate while an investigation is ongoing. Until the conclusion of the investigation we will not be commenting further.”

But Garry Graham, the deputy general secretary of the Prospect union, asked “what will it take” for MPs accused of serious offences to be formally banned from parliament.

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