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Tories refuse to bar rape suspect until police probe

THE Tories have refused to suspend an MP accused of rape until the charges have been investigated by police.

Labour branded the decision ‘shocking’ but a spokesman for chief government whip Mark Spencer said: ‘These are serious allegations and it is right that they are investigated fully.’

The MP — an ex-minister — was arrested after a former parliamentary aide in her 20s accused him of rape, sexual assault and coercive control.

She claims he assaulted her and forced her to have sex.

The abuse took place during a relationship, it is claimed.

Shadow safeguarding minister Jess Phillips (pictured) criticised the Tories for failing to suspend the whip from the MP, which would effectively eject him from the party. The Labour MP told Times Radio it sent a ‘terrible message’ that senior figures were still able to secure ‘protection’ through their Westminster status.

Ms Phillips added: ‘While pending a police investigation for a sexual crime, I think it is only right that the whip is withdrawn.’

The Metropolitan Police said it received allegations on Friday of sexual offences and assault relating to four incidents in London, including in Westminster, between July last year and January.

A man was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of rape, taken into custody at an east London police station then bailed until mid-August.

A Conservative party spokeswoman said it would be ‘inappropriate to comment further’.