Former Conservative minister arrested at home after woman accuses him of rape

Steve Bird
palace of westminster -  NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP

A former minister was arrested at his home on Saturday after a woman accused him of rape and sexual assault.

The senior Conservative MP, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was taken into custody in the morning shortly before the Metropolitan Police announced it had launched an investigation. The man, in his 50’s, remained in custody at a police station in East London on Saturday night.

A Metropolitan Police Service statement said officers received allegations relating to “four separate incidents involving allegations of sexual offences and assault.” The complaints were lodged with the constabulary on Friday.

While Scotland Yard did not name the man they said the alleged offences took place in Westminster, Lambeth and Hackney in London between July 2019 and January 2020.

A Scotland Yard statement said: “On Friday, 31 July, the Metropolitan Police Service received allegations relating to four separate incidents involving allegations of sexual offences and assault.

“These offences are alleged to have occurred at addresses in Westminster, Lambeth and Hackney between July 2019 and January 2020. The Met has launched an investigation into the allegations.

“A man in his 50s was arrested on Saturday, 1 August on suspicion of rape and is currently in custody in an east London police station.”

A spokesman for the Met confirmed that the MP has been released on bail to a date in mid-August.

The arrest came just days after Charlie Elphicke, a former Conservative whip, was convicted of sexual assault. 

The married father of two was found guilty of three charges of sexual assault, one of which involved him forcing himself on a woman at his home in Belgravia, London, during which he shouted: “I’m a naughty Tory.”

The Conservative Party has not suspended the unnamed MP at the centre of the latest allegations. However, it remains to be seen whether Number 10 will intervene to try to avoid any further fallout following Elphicke’s conviction last week.

It was reported on Saturday night that a fellow Conservative MP raised the woman’s allegations with senior members of the party.

In a statement, the Conservative Party said: “We take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously. As this matter is now in the hands of the police it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

There was no answer at the politician’s home this evening. 

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