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Thu, 3 December 2020

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Tory MP accused of rape can return to Commons in September after having bail extended

Tory MP accused of rape can return to Commons in September after having bail extended

The MP will be able to return to the House of Commons when summer recess ends on September 1 (PA)

2 min read

The Tory MP accused of rape will be able to return to the House of Commons in September after his bail was extended until November.

The former minister, who has not been named, was arrested on August 1 for a number of alleged offences including sexual assault.

He was bailed originally to the middle of the month, but a statement from the Metropolitan Police revealed that date has been pushed back while a specialist complex case team oversees the investigation.

It said: “On Friday, 31 July, the Metropolitan Police Service received allegations relating to four separate incidents involving allegations of sexual offences and assault.

“These offences are alleged to have occurred at addresses in Westminster, Lambeth and Hackney between July 2019 and January 2020.

“A man in his 50s was arrested on Saturday, 1st August 2020, on suspicion of rape, sexual assaults by penetration and touching and assault.

“His bail to return on a date has been extended to early November 2020.”

This means the MP, who the Conservative Party have said will not be suspended until a decision is made whether to formally charge him with a crime, can sit in Parliament after summer recess ends on September 1.

It will lead to further calls for the whip to be removed, after Labour criticised the Chief Whip Mark Spencer for not doing so already.

He said it is “down to police” to complete their investigation first, but the opposition party warned it risks “undermining public faith in our politics”.

Its chairwoman and deputy leader, Angela Rayner, wrote to the Tories last week saying: “Suspension would help protect others by making them aware of the allegations he faces and it would also show that the Conservative Party takes safeguarding concerns seriously.”

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