Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape released on bail while police investigate
The man was arrested on suspicion of offences spanning seven years between 2002 and 2009. Conservative whips have asked him to stay away from the Parliamentary estate – but not withdrawn the Tory whip
Liz Truss questioned on Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape
- 07:54, 18 May 2022
- Updated08:06, 18 May 2022
A Tory MP who was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault offences spanning seven years has been released on bail pending further enquiries by the Metropolitan Police.
The unnamed politician was taken into custody over the allegations, which also include indecent assault, abuse of position of trust, and misconduct in public office.
He has now been bailed to a date in mid-June, pending further inquiries.
But he will keep the Conservative whip after the Tory whips’ office decided not to suspend him – which would lead to his name being made public – while the police inquiry is ongoing.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss today said “I’m very very concerned about the reports I’ve heard, clearly this is a matter for the police”. She added: “It is worrying that we’re seeing these appalling accusations again about a Parliamentarian.”
But interviewed by Sky News, she repeatedly declined to say the Tory whip should be withdrawn from the man.
The Palace of Westminster in London, where Parliament sits (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
“I don’t know who it is. I know that the police are looking at it and investigating it and I think we need to wait for the police to conduct those investigations,” she said.
“If there was a disclosure of the name of this individual, there could be an impact on the victim and that’s a matter for the police.”
The Prospect union, which represents some staff in Parliament, has demanded MPs are forced to stay away from Westminster while they are under investigation – not just asked to stay at home.
The allegations emerged after a fresh wave of recriminations about allegations of abuse in Westminster.
Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan finally quit earlier this month after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.
Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of Prospect, said: “This news comes just weeks after an MP was found guilty of sexual abuse against a child and is the latest in a series of arrests and convictions of politicians for sexual offences.
In an unconnected case, former Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan was convicted of sexually assaulting a boy aged 15 (Image: PA)
“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?
“Voluntary agreements to stay away do not work, as demonstrated by Imran Ahmad Khan’s attendance at Westminster whilst investigations were ongoing, despite agreeing to stay away.
“Parliament has the same responsibilities towards its staff as any other workplace and it must live up to them.”
Some 56 MPs have reportedly been referred to Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) over about 70 separate complaints, according to the Sunday Times.
Scotland Yard said in an updated statement: “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.”
Scotland Yard added the man “was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office. He was taken into custody and has since been bailed pending further enquiries to a date in mid-June.”
The news comes after Boris Johnson told his Cabinet yesterday that he wanted “crime crime crime is what we want to focus on”.
He told ministers: “There is another reason why it is so vital to bring down crime, why making sure that our streets are safe is so integral to our project of uniting and levelling up.
“It is because it is only when you have safe streets, when you have safe communities, that you get the confidence of business to invest and drive jobs and growth.”
The Commons Speaker’s Office declined to comment.