The government’s chief whip was last night accused of failing to act for four months on allegations against a Tory MP and former minister arrested for suspected rape over the weekend.
Tory chief whip Mark Spencer is understood to have spoken with the complainant in April, but failed to launch an investigation into the allegations.
The Tory MP, who has not been publicly named, has been accused of rape, sexual assault and coercive control by a former parliamentary employee in her twenties.
He was taken into custody on Saturday and released on bail.
The complainant alleges that the MP assaulted her, forced her to have sex, and left her so traumatised she had to go to hospital, the Times first reported.
A spokesman for Spencer yesterday said: “The chief whip takes all allegations of harassment and abuse extremely seriously and has strongly encouraged anybody who has approached him to contact the appropriate authorities, including parliament’s independent complaints and grievance scheme.”
According to sources, Spencer had not known the “magnitude” of the allegations.
However, the Telegraph today reported that the woman made a complaint to Spencer on 1 April, and became frustrated when nothing was done about her allegations. She reportedly then sought a second meeting with Spencer, which she says he declined.
The complainant also alleged that she told Spencer the MP issued threats against her if she spoke to anybody about the allegations. But she said the chief whip simply reassured her that the MP in question would not carry out his threat.
It is also reported that the Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, was told about the claims in recent weeks, with sources saying he told the woman to contact the police.
The Conservative party was met with outrage yesterday after the whips’ office said the Tory MP arrested over allegations of rape will not be suspended from the party while a police investigation is ongoing.
A spokesperson for the Conservative whips’ office said: “These are serious allegations and it is right that they are investigated fully. The whip has not been suspended.”
Shadow safeguarding minister Jess Phillips said it was “shocking” the party had not decided to withdraw the whip.
“In any other organisation, were this police investigation to be going on, somebody would be suspended while the investigation was taking place,” Phillips told Times Radio.
“I find it shocking this morning in the news that the Conservative party has decided not to withdraw the whip in this case.”