Liz Truss admits it is ‘worrying’ to see another politician accused of rape as Tory MP bailed

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss  (PA Media)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (PA Media)

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss admitted it is “worrying” to see another politician accused of a sex attack after a senior Tory MP was arrested on suspicion of rape.

The unnamed man - aged in his 50s - has been bailed until June, the Met confirmed on Wednesday.

He faces allegations of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office following a more than two year investigation by Scotland Yard.

The offences allegedly took place in London between 2002 and 2009, detectives said.

“I am very, very concerned about the reports I have heard,” Ms Truss told Sky News.

“It is worrying we are seeing these appalling accusations again about a parliamentarian.”

The news comes after several Conservative MPs have been forced to quit in recent month over sleeze.

Imran Ahmad Khan resigned his Wakefield seat when he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

He was defended by fellow Tory MP Crispin Blunt, who later announced his intention to stand down at the next election.

Neil Parish, in April, quit as MP for Tiverton and Honiton after admitting to twice watching porn in the House of Commons chamber. A by-election will be held on June 23.

Earlier this year David Warburton was suspended from the Tory party over sexual harassment and drug abuse allegations reported by the Sunday Times.

Following reports of sexual misconduct by MPs several years ago, the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) was set up.

More than 50 MPs have reportedly been referred to the parliamentary watchdog.

Mike Clancy, general secretary of the Prospect Union which represents many staff in Parliament, said rules need to be changed for MPs being investigated for sexual misconduct.

MPs accused of offences should not be allowed into the workplace until an investigation is completed, he said.

"Parliament should be a space in which the highest standards are embodied and all to regularly now those are being called into question," he told the BBC

"Some time back we welcome the ICGS but it has proved to be to slow, partly because it is under resourced. We have to remind ourselves that this is a workplace like any other.

“It has certain special features but because matters are complex or sensitive they shouldn't put them beyond the reach of the normal practices that would apply in work places across this country.

"It isn't sufficient in our view for this approach to be voluntary. We have had incidences in the past where an MP has been exhorted to stay off the [Parliamentary] estate when they have been the subject of allegations and that voluntary exhortation was broken.

“We are calling now for real change."

Ms Truss said she did not know the name of the latest MP to be arrested and publicly removing the Whip could identify any alleged victims.

"There could be an impact on the victim and that is a matter for the police," she added.

A Met Police spokesman said: "In January 2020, the Met received a report relating to alleged sexual offences having been committed between 2002 and 2009.

"The offences are alleged to have occurred in London. An investigation is ongoing, led by officers from Central Specialist Crime.

A man, aged in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office.

"He was taken into custody and has since been bailed pending further enquiries to a date in mid-June."

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