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Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape and released on bail

The Conservative MP, who was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, has now been released on bail pending further investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

Scotland Yard said the unnamed man, in his 50s – also arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, abuse of trust and misconduct in public office – was taken into custody on Tuesday.

In an updated statement Wednesday, the force said he was “released on bail pending further investigation by a date in mid-June,” adding, “An investigation is ongoing.”

Officers received a report in January 2020 into alleged sex offenses committed in London between 2002 and 2009.

Conservative leader Chris Heaton-Harris has urged the MP to stay away from Parliament – but has not yet suspended the stick, meaning the suspect remains a member of the Parliament party.

It was understood the Tories would not make a decision on whether to subject the suspect to the whip until the police investigation was complete.

The Prospect union, which represents hundreds of staff working in Parliament, said more decisive action was needed.

Deputy Secretary-General Garry Graham said: “What will it take for Parliament to finally take its responsibilities to its staff and visitors seriously and suspend access to the estate to MPs who are under investigation for sex crimes?”

Secretary of State Liz Truss said she was “very, very concerned” that a Tory colleague had been arrested – but declined to comment on whether the whip should be removed.

When asked how she felt hearing the news, she told Sky News: “I’m very, very concerned by the reports I’ve heard. Police are currently working on the case, but it is worrying that we are seeing these appalling… allegations against an MP again.”

Asked if the MP should be stripped of the whip, Ms Truss said: “I don’t know who it is. I know the police are looking at it and investigating, and I think we’ll have to wait for the police to do that investigation.”

The arrest comes amid a renewed investigation into the Westminster filth after a spate of cases. Former Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan walked out of the House of Commons earlier this month after being convicted of sexually assaulting a boy.

David Warburton was stripped of the Conservatives’ whip after allegations of sexual harassment and cocaine use surfaced.

Over the past year, around 15 MPs have been suspected of being investigated by Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS), which investigates allegations of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct.

Neil Parish resigned as Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton earlier this month after admitting he had seen pornography in the House of Commons.

The latest arrest also follows the 2020 arrest of a Tory MP on suspicion of rape. He was never identified and police took no further action following an investigation.

Conservative sources declined to identify the person arrested on Tuesday, citing the need to protect an applicant’s identity.

A statement from the Tory whip office said: “The chief whip has asked that the MP in question not visit the parliamentary estate while an inquiry is ongoing. We will not comment further until the investigation is complete.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-mp-rape-arrest-released-b2081537.html Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape and released on bail

Bobby Allyn

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