LONDON (AP) — British media reported Sunday that a Conservative Party lawmaker has been arrested after a former parliamentary aide accused him of rape and sexual assault while they were in a relationship.
The Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday did not name the lawmaker, who they reported was a former government minister. The complainant alleged that the man assaulted her and forced her to have sex, according to the Times.
The Metropolitan Police said it is investigating allegations of sexual offenses and assault relating to four incidents at addresses in London, including in Westminster, between July 2019 and January.
The force said officers arrested a man in his 50s on Saturday on suspicion of rape and took him into custody at a London police station. The man has been released on bail. The force did not name the man, in accordance with its usual rule of not naming suspects until they are formally charged.
The governing Conservative Party said in a statement it takes “all allegations of this nature extremely seriously” but that it could not comment because the matter was being investigated.
The party said it wasn’t suspending the lawmaker but may review that decision once the police investigation has concluded.
Jess Phillips of the opposition Labour Party said it was “shocking” that the Tories refused to suspend the lawmaker under investigation.
“In any other organisation, were this police investigation to be going on, somebody would be suspended while the investigation was taking place,” she said.
The investigation came days after former Conservative lawmaker Charlie Elphicke was convicted in a separate case of sexually assaulting two women, including a parliamentary worker.