UK

Conservative MP arrested over rape and sexual assault allegations spanning seven-year period

A Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault offences spanning a seven-year period.

Scotland Yard confirmed in a statement that a man aged in his 50s has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office.

The individual remains in custody and the investigation into the alleged offences, which took place between 2002 and 2009, is ongoing.

The offences are alleged to have occurred in London.

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Tory chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris has asked the unnamed serving MP to stay away from Parliament while the probe, led by officers from Central Specialist Crime, continues.

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.”

It was understood the Conservatives will not make a decision on whether the suspect has the whip suspended until after the police investigation is concluded.

The Metropolitan Police said they received a report relating to the alleged sexual offences in January 2020.

The MP cannot be named for legal reasons.

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Last month, The Sunday Times reported that 56 MPs currently face allegations ranging from making sexually inappropriate comments to more serious wrongdoing.

Boris Johnson agreed that sexual misconduct would be “grounds for dismissal” for ministers when asked about the newspaper’s report at Prime Minister’s Questions in April.

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