Police have reportedly dropped their investigation into a Conservative MP and ex-minister who was arrested after a woman accused him of rape, sexual assault and coercive control. rape
The Metropolitan Police had said they received allegations on 31 July of sexual offences and assault. The allegations related to four separate incidents at addresses in London, including in Westminster, between July 2019 and January 2020.
Police arrested the Conservative MP on 1 August on suspicion of rape and took him into custody at an east London police station. They later released him on bail, the force added.
But the Sunday Times quoted a police spokesperson as saying:
Following a through investigation, and based on all evidence made available to officers, the decision was taken that the case did not meet the evidential test and no further action will be taken.
The alleged victim told the paper she intended to appeal against the decision under the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme.
The paper reports that the accused has conducted parliamentary duties from home since his arrest. He has now been made aware of the police decision.
The party took no action
Numerous reports in the Sunday papers on 2 August said the allegations were raised with Tory chief whip Mark Spencer. And the complainant also spoke to Spencer, who didn’t take any action. The PA news agency understands Spencer advised her to make a formal complaint to authorities who would be able to investigate the claims.
A spokesperson for Spencer said:
The Chief Whip takes all allegations of harassment and abuse extremely seriously and has strongly encouraged anybody who has approached him to contact the appropriate authorities, including Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, which can formally carry out independent and confidential investigations.
A Conservative Party spokesperson 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.
The investigation came days after former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke was convicted at Southwark Crown Court in a separate case of sexually assaulting two women. One of them was a parliamentary worker.