Daily Mail

There’s rot at the heart of the Tory party over sex victims, claims peer

- Whitehall Editor By Claire Ellicott

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.

 ?? ?? Interventi­on: Ex-chairman Baroness Warsi
Interventi­on: Ex-chairman Baroness Warsi

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