LONDON — A British lawmaker was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of rape and different sexual assault offenses, in line with British information media experiences, the newest in a string of sexual misconduct allegations towards members of Parliament in latest weeks.
London’s Metropolitan Police Service has confirmed that its officers arrested a person serving in public workplace over a grievance obtained two years in the past, however didn’t affirm his title or his occupation.
The arrest follows a number of incidents of misogyny and allegations of sexual misconduct in latest weeks, and the legal conviction of a lawmaker, a slew of experiences that has renewed longstanding issues in regards to the tradition of the Westminster Parliament.
Hypothesis in regards to the arrested lawmaker’s id has swirled in Westminster, however no official assertion figuring out the suspect has been revealed. The workplace of the chief whip of the governing Conservatives, Chris Heaton-Harris, mentioned in an announcement that one of many occasion’s lawmakers, a person, had been requested to not come to Parliament whereas the investigation continued.
The police mentioned in an announcement that “a person, aged in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of place of belief and misconduct in public workplace.” The assertion added that an investigation was ongoing.
The authorities obtained a report in January 2020 “referring to alleged sexual offenses having been dedicated between 2002 and 2009,” in London, the police assertion mentioned.
The person was taken into custody however has since been conditionally launched, the police mentioned.
Members of Parliament started weighing in on the allegations on Wednesday. Liz Truss, the international secretary, informed Sky Information that she was “involved in regards to the experiences” however added, “Clearly it is a matter for the police.”
“It’s worrying that we’re seeing these appalling accusations once more a few parliamentarian,” she mentioned.
The arrest comes on the heels of a variety of troubling incidents in Parliament which have shone the highlight on what look like pervasive issues of misogyny and sexual misconduct in the legislature.
The resignation in April of Neil Parish, a Conservative lawmaker who admitted to watching pornography twice whereas seated amongst his colleagues on the benches of the Home of Commons, introduced requires change.
Days earlier than that, one other Conservative lawmaker, Imran Ahmad Khan, was expelled from the occasion after being discovered responsible of sexually assaulting an adolescent; he later resigned his seat.
Final month, The Sunday Times reported that some 56 lawmakers, together with three cupboard ministers and two “shadow” cupboard ministers from the opposition Labour Social gathering, had been referred to an impartial watchdog over sexual misconduct claims because the monitor was created in 2018.
The Prospect union, which represents parliamentary staff, mentioned that the lawmaker who was arrested had not been barred from coming into the location, however added that there was a voluntary settlement in place with the Conservative Social gathering that he would keep away.
The union has known as for the lawmaker to be barred till the conclusion of any investigation, a name it has additionally made in earlier instances.
Garry Graham, the deputy basic secretary of the union, mentioned that voluntary agreements didn’t work, including that Mr. Khan, the not too long ago convicted lawmaker, had attended Westminster whereas investigations had been ongoing regardless of agreeing to not.
“What is going to it take for Parliament to lastly take its duty to its workers and guests severely and droop entry to the property for parliamentarians below investigation for sexual offenses?” he mentioned. “Parliament has the identical obligations in the direction of its workers as another office and it should dwell as much as them.”
Rachel Reeves, a senior Labour Social gathering lawmaker, informed the broadcaster ITV that the incidents “should be a get up name” about wrongdoing in Westminster.
“In another office, after accusations like this they’d be banned, and we do have to look once more at not simply the tradition of Westminster but additionally in regards to the guidelines as a result of there’s a responsibility of care to guard different folks that work within the Home of Commons,” she mentioned.