LONDON: A lawmaker from Britain’s ruling Conservative party was held in police custody yesterday after being arrested on suspicion of multiple sexual offences, including rape, police and the party said.
London’s Metropolitan police, who did not name the MP, said officers detained a man in his 50s following allegations of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape and other misconduct offences more than a decade ago.
“In January 2020, the Met received a report relating to alleged sexual offences having been committed between 2002 and 2009,” the force said, adding they were alleged to have occurred in the British capital.
The investigation is ongoing and the suspect “remains in custody”, it added.
A spokesman for the Conservatives’ office dealing with party discipline said it had instructed the MP concerned not to attend parliament or its various adjoining buildings while the probe continued.
“Until the conclusion of the investigation we will not be commenting further,” the spokesman for the so-called whips office added.
The Conservatives will not decide on whether to suspend the suspect from the parliamentary party until after the police probe has concluded, reports said.
The arrest is just the latest scandal involving a British lawmaker, with prime minister Boris Johnson’s Tories in particular embroiled in numerous controversies, several of a sexual nature.
Last month, it was revealed at least 56 MPs, including three ministers, are currently being probed over allegations of sexual misconduct by parliament’s own complaints office.
Conservative lawmaker Neil Parish resigned last month after admitting he had deliberately watched pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons chamber.
Another Tory MP, Imran Ahmad Khan, also quit parliament in April following his conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.