Tory MP accused of rape agrees to stay away from Commons

A Tory MP accused of rape has promised to stay away from the House of Commons for the ‘foreseeable future’, the Speaker has said.

The unnamed former minister, in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of rape in August after an ex-Commons researcher, in her 20s, reported four separate allegations of sexual assault to the Met Police.

His bail conditions were lifted on Friday, but he remains under investigation. Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and government chief whip Mark Spencer then met on Monday to discuss the situation.

The former minister had previously agreed with the Conservative Party that he would not attend Parliament while inquiries continue.

A spokesperson for the Speaker’s Office has now confirmed he had ‘received assurances’ that the accused minister continues to ‘voluntarily agree not to attend the House of Commons for the foreseeable future’.

They added: ‘The Speaker, the House of Commons Commission and the House service continue to take the safety of staff and the parliamentary community as a whole very seriously.’

The alleged offences are said to have occurred in London between July 2019 and January this year, and were reported to the police in July. The victim claims she needed hospital treatment after one of the alleged attacks.

In September, the Speaker warned MPs against using their parliamentary privilege to name the former minister in the Commons.

He told them: ‘While the investigation is ongoing, I believe that it would be wholly inappropriate for any further reference to be made to this matter in the House, including an attempt to name the member concerned.’

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