The Daily Telegraph

Calls to expel Tory MP who asked intern to ‘fool around’


A CONSERVATI­VE MP who invited an intern to “fool around” with him is under investigat­ion by the Conservati­ve Party, amid mounting calls for him to be stripped of the whip.

Rob Roberts, the MP for Delyn in North Wales, has also been referred to the parliament­ary standards watchdog over texts sent to the young woman.

In Whatsapp messages published by the BBC, Mr Roberts told the intern that he “might be gay but I enjoy fun times” and invited her to London to “fool around”.

The woman had told the MP, who has split from his wife and came out as gay in May, she was struggling with her mental health and was in an “awful state”, according to the messages.

She later told the BBC the encounter made her feel “incredibly sick”. “I had one of the worst days ever. Then I messaged him saying, ‘I’m crying, I’m not OK.’ His solution to that was to propositio­n me,” she said.

Mr Roberts is also accused of asking out a male staffer who moved positions as a result. In more messages published by the BBC, the MP admitted to a parliament­ary colleague “that I liked him, and asked him to dinner”. “It created a problem for him that I felt that way,” he said. The party investigat­ion is understood to cover multiple allegation­s.

Last night, a former Cabinet minister said the whip should be withdrawn, adding: “It is a particular­ly bad look to take a light touch approach to this, and yet remove the whip from Julian Lewis.” Mr Lewis was expelled from the party last week after mounting a “coup” to become chairman of the intelligen­ce and security committee.

‘I had one of the worst days ever. I messaged him. His solution to that was to propositio­n me’

Labour MP Charlotte Nichols reported Mr Roberts to parliament­ary authoritie­s on June 3 after being made aware of the allegation­s. She told The Daily Telegraph: “The whip needs to be withdrawn as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for the Conservati­ve Party said: “An investigat­ion into Rob Roberts MP’S conduct is ongoing. While Mr Roberts has apologised for his behaviour, and has been undertakin­g safeguardi­ng and social media protection training, we are clear such conduct is completely unacceptab­le.”

Mr Roberts’s office did not respond to requests to comment.

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