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Tory MP at centre of rape investigation gets go-ahead to run for re-election

Exclusive: The unnamed MP has been free to continue working in his community while on bail, including with children

Ruby Lott-Lavigna
12 May 2023, 3.16pm

The Conservative MP accused of sexual offences has been barred from Westminster while on bail.


Canva (image manipulation by Carla Abreu)

A Conservative MP on police bail after being accused of rape has been given the go-ahead by his local party to stand in the next general election, openDemocracy can reveal.

The MP, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested in May 2022 on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape and other related charges. He has been bailed four times since his arrest.

Yet openDemocracy has seen evidence that the politician has continued working in his local community, including with children.

He has also continued receiving personal donations and gifts since his arrest, including having a “private holiday” funded by a donor linked to an All-Party Parliamentary Group on which he sits.

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The man, in his 50s, was asked not to visit the parliamentary estate while being investigated, though he has not been suspended from the party.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “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.

“A man, aged in his 50s, 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-May 2023.

“Enquiries remain ongoing.”

The accused MP has regularly shared photos of himself on social media at events alongside teenagers and children. He has continued to write articles for a local publication and attended political events outside of Westminster.

His local office confirmed to openDemocracy that he had been reselected “unanimously” to stand in the next general election for the Conservative Party.

At the time of the arrest, Keir Starmer backed calls to name the MP. His official spokesperson said the alleged offender should have the whip removed considering the gravity of the accusations.

The Conservative Party declined to comment.

Correction 22/05/2023: This article incorrectly stated the MP had been bailed three times since his arrest. This has been corrected to four.

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