Tory MP accused of rape not suspended from party amid police investigation
A former Tory minister accused of raping a parliamentary worker will not be suspended from the party while police investigate.
The MP, in his 50s, was arrested on Saturday morning after four separate incidents ‘involving allegations of sexual offences and assault’ were reported to the Met Police. The offences are alleged to have taken place between July 2019 and January this year.
A spokesperson for the Conservative whips’ office said today: ‘These are serious allegations and it is right that they are investigated fully. The whip has not been suspended. This decision will be reviewed once the police investigation has been concluded.’
The Housing Secretary previously said he didn’t know the name of the MP accused of rape, but stated that he was ‘confident’ the party was taking the matter seriously.
Robert Jenrick told Times Radio: ‘These are very serious allegations and they should be investigated. They’re in the hands of the police, so I don’t think I can comment any more than that.’
Asked whether the Tory whip should be removed from the MP, he added: ‘We need to take allegations of this nature very seriously and I’m confident that the party is, and will do.’
Jenrick’s words have since come under criticism from Labour MP and shadow safeguarding minister Jess Philips. She described the decision not the suspend the accused MP from the Conservative Party as ‘appalling’.
She went on: ‘This is an appalling decision that sends a message that the Conservative Party do not take either their safeguarding responsibility or people who come forward seriously. I hope that decent Tories privately contact Number 10 and their whips and express their disgust.’
Responding directly to Jenrick, she added: ‘How exactly has the Conservative party taken this seriously? What action have they taken? What assurances can they give the young women who work in our offices in Westminster?’
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