The Daily Telegraph

MP arrested for rape ‘should not be allowed in Commons’

- By Anna Mikhailova

A CONSERVATI­VE MP arrested on suspicion of rape should not be allowed back into Parliament until the criminal investigat­ion into the allegation­s has concluded, an MP has said.

Charlotte Nichols said news that the MP would be able to return to the Commons on Sep 1, the end of the recess, was “maddening”. The MP’S bail was extended until November.

Ms Nichols, the Labour MP for Warrington North, said: “From a safeguardi­ng point of view, it’s maddening that this MP is allowed back on to the parliament­ary estate before the investigat­ion has concluded.”

The MP, who has not been identified, was arrested at the start of August after a woman in her 20s made a complaint of rape and sexual assault.

The Chief Whip has come under pressure to remove the whip from the MP, in the same way that former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke had it removed in 2017 when he was first accused of sexual assaults. Last month, Elphicke was found guilty of sexually assaulting two women.

Jess Phillips, the shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguardi­ng, said: “He should not return to Parliament and safeguards should be put in place as they would for a teacher, a doctor or a carer.”

Scotland Yard has previously confirmed that it had received allegation­s relating to four separate incidents involving sexual offences and assault.

Women’s Aid, the Fawcett Society, the Centenary Action Group, the TUC and the biggest trade unions representi­ng staff in Parliament said in a joint statement: “The House of Commons should be no different from any other workplace. Safety and the safeguardi­ng of staff must be paramount.”

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