THE alleged victim of a senior Conservative MP is “devastated” he hasn’t been suspended from the party after he was arrested over accusations of rape.
Chief whip Mark Spencer is understood to have decided not to take immediate action until the police investigation is finished over fears his anonymity could be threatened.
But the alleged victim – a former parliamentary researcher who cannot be identified – told The Times: “It’s insulting and shows they never cared.”
She says she was assaulted four times between July 2019 and January this year, including claims of rape which required hospital treatment.
Business minister Nadhim Zahawi defend the whips’ actions and said it was “only right” to wait until the police investigation had concluded.
He told BBC Radio 4: “There is a police investigation taking place. I
“It is only right that we wait for that investigation to conclude before hearing from the chief whip as to the action the Conservative party will take.
“I think it is wrong to speculate before we see the police investigation completed.”
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said he did not know the name of the MP but said he was “confident” the party would take the matter seriously.
He said: “When that’s completed you will be hearing from the chief whip.”
The unnamed MP was interviewed at a police station in east London on Saturday after Scotland Yard officers spoke with his alleged victim on Friday.
He has been accused of coercing her into have sex with him while they were in a relationship.
But the chief whip was alerted to the allegations back in April and failed to take any action against the MP or encourage the alleged victim to speak with the police.
She said he evaded questions about suspended the whip, saying: “I felt like he did not take me seriously or recognise the severity of what had happened.”
A spokesman for the chief whip said that he took all accusations of harassment and abuse extremely seriously and had strongly encouraged anybody who has approached him to contact the appropriate authorities.
According to The Times Mr Spencer does not believe that a sexual assault was reported to him in the conversation with the complainant – but acknowledges she reported abusive and threatening behaviour.
It is also understood that the Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg was told by an MP in recent weeks about the claims.
Sources told the BBC that Mr Rees-Mogg had said the woman should contact the police.
The decision not to suspend the whip – which would effectively expel him from the party – was taken over concerns of ensuring that the MP’s anonymity was protected while the police deal with the allegations.
The Labour Party said it sent a “terrible” message that senior MPs were given “protection” because of their status.
Labour’s shadow safeguarding minister Jess Phillips told Times Radio the MP should at the very least be suspended while the investigation takes place.
She said: “Any organisation — especially one like members of parliament who every day work with vulnerable people, young activists, members of staff — in any other organisation, were this police investigation to be going on, somebody would be suspended while the investigation was taking place.”