Johnson defends decision not to suspend Tory MP accused of rape

The Canary

Boris Johnson has defended the decision not to suspend a senior Tory MP who was arrested on suspicion of rape.

The prime minister insisted on Thursday that the allegation is being taken “extremely seriously” after the Conservatives defied calls to remove the whip from the former minister.

Johnson, in his first comments about the arrest, said a decision will be made when the police investigation is concluded.

“I think it’s very, very important that we take all these cases extremely seriously and we will continue to do so,” he told reporters during a visit to Warrington.

“I think we’ve got to wait for the police to decide whether they want to make charges and take a decision on that basis.”

On Friday, Scotland Yard received allegations of sexual offences and assault relating to four incidents at addresses in London, including in Westminster.

The unnamed MP was arrested the following day on suspicion of raping the woman and was taken into custody before being bailed until mid-August.

Labour’s shadow safeguarding minister Jess Phillips was among those who criticised the Tories for not suspending the whip from the MP.

She told Times Radio it sent a “terrible message” that powerful figures can secure “protection” with their Westminster status.

“While pending a police investigation for a sexual crime, I think it is only right that the whip is withdrawn,” she said.

The investigation was launched days after former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke was convicted at Southwark Crown Court in a separate case of sexually assaulting two women.

He had the whip removed in November 2017 when the allegations first surfaced, but it was controversially restored before a confidence vote in then prime minister Theresa May’s leadership the following year.

But the party suspended him again on the day Elphicke was formally charged in July 2019.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. I was and remain astounded that the British people or should that be sheeple ? Elected in a so called democratic election, this bunch of lying cheating inept wan*ers. But as usual the sheeple did as they were instructed by the billionaire owned MSM and without any thought except get Brexit done put the most right wing extreme nutters in power.

      Whilst I admit that it would be hard to keep this MP anonymised and everyone (except Julian Assange apparently) deserves a fair trial, this is a very serious allegation and this is not a normal everyday citizen and being a MP doesn’t mean you can pick and choose what laws and standards apply to you.

      You cannot say “of course I need subsidised bars and meals on demand, because I’m an MP” and then say “you cannot treat me as a normal person because i am a MP” they believe they are the elite and deserve to be treated as such, we should all bow down and serve them as our masters. But lets face it this lot including pretend socialists like Starmer and his merry crew of red tories, are NOT there because of their brilliance, but rather because of privilege and the knowledge that status quo has been maintained. The rich get richer the poor get poorer and anyone needing assistance is a drain on society unless of course you are a tax dodging tosser, but then again if you are then you are probably also an MP.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.