There’s rot at the heart of the Tory party over sex victims, claims peer
THE Conservatives have a problem with handling sexual assault claims, a former party chairman claimed yesterday.
Baroness Warsi said there was a ‘rot at the heart’ of the party and accused officials of failing to help victims.
Her intervention comes as pressure mounts on the Prime minister to investigate explosive claims by former minister Nadine Dorries in her new book.
mr Sunak said allegations that a Tory MP committed a series of rapes were ‘very serious’ and urged victims to go to the police. But he stopped short of announcing an inquiry and insisted internal processes were robust.
Baroness Warsi said: ‘I think the party does have a problem. The party for years and years has simply failed to deal with responding to victims appropriately.
‘We cannot be the party of government which governs in this country more than
‘MP allowed to continue to offend’
any other political party and still have this rot at the heart of us, whether that’s racism, whether that’s bullying, whether that’s sexual misconduct.
She told Times Radio: ‘ We need to be above these matters and we need to see when they come to light, deal with them quickly and coherently, and make sure that all people feel protected within our party.’
ms Dorries made the bombshell claims in The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson, which is being serialised by the mail. Her book alleges that the party secretly funded medical treatment for a woman who told officials she had been raped by a Tory MP.
Another woman was allegedly given a date rape drug and woke up in a country hotel the next morning with an MP, she says.
Asked about the allegations, mr Sunak said: ‘These are very serious, anonymous allegations.
‘It may be that they allude to something that is already the subject of a live police investigation, so I hope you understand it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on that further specifically.
‘more broadly the Conservative Party has robust independent complaint procedures in place, but I would say to anybody who has information or evidence about any criminal acts to of course talk to police, that’s the right course of action.’
It was also revealed on Sunday that former party chairman Jake Berry and former chief whip Wendy morton have written to the police to urge them to investigate the allegations.
Sir Jake is said to have warned officers that an internal ‘ failure’ to act on allegations allowed the unnamed MP to ‘continue to offend’, according to The mail on Sunday.
He wrote to police saying the MP targeted as many as five people with little to no consequence, with some of the allegations including multiple rapes.
Also on Sunday, Deputy Prime minister oliver Dowden, who was chairman of the Conservative Party between September 2021 and June 2022, told broadcasters he was not aware of the allegations and did not know who the alleged culprit was.
He told the BBC: ‘I don’t recognise in any form the idea that we covered up.’
But he later said he could not rule out that the party might have paid for treatment for an alleged victim. He told Times Radio: ‘I’m not denying that it could be the case that those payments were made, but it is not something that I authorised or (was) part of as chairman of the Conservative Party.’ opposition parties have urged the Conservatives to investigate the allegations over the unidentified MP, who was able to continue in their role in Parliament.
Labour Party chairman Anneliese Dodds called the allegations ‘deeply concerning and extremely serious’ and urged the Tories to investigate.
Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain has urged the Prime minister to launch an investigation over the ‘deeply disturbing’ claims.