Crispin Blunt, a prominent member of the Conservative party, has been taken into custody for alleged offenses of rape and drug possession.
Blunt issued a statement following an announcement by Surrey police that a man in his 60s was arrested on Wednesday and subsequently released on bail.
The member of parliament representing Reigate, who previously served as a justice minister and chaired the foreign affairs committee, expressed his belief that the investigation would conclude without pressing charges.
He claimed that he had already informed the police about the accusation of blackmail in connection with the same event and had conversed with them a few weeks ago.
Blunt confirmed that he was the Member of Parliament who was arrested in connection with an allegation of rape. As per protocol, the Speaker and Chief Whip will be formally notified of the arrest.
I have already been interviewed twice regarding this event, with the first interview taking place three weeks ago when I first raised my concerns about extortion.
“On the second occasion, I was placed under arrest while under caution. However, the arrest was unwarranted as I am still willing to fully cooperate with the investigation, which I am certain will conclude without any charges being made.”
Blunt has been suspended from his position as whip and has been instructed to refrain from being on the parliamentary grounds until the police investigation has concluded.
Police stated that a male individual was taken into custody on the morning of Wednesday and later released on bail with certain conditions.
A representative from Surrey police stated that a man was taken into custody yesterday morning for suspected rape and possession of controlled substances. The individual has been granted conditional police bail while further investigations take place.
The suspected controlled substances are currently undergoing testing and the results are pending.
This is the most recent in a series of detentions of Members of Parliament for suspected sexual offenses.
An unidentified Conservative politician currently serving in Parliament was taken into custody in May 2022 for alleged indecent assault, sexual assault, and rape. No charges have been filed against him.
Two ex-Tory members of parliament have been found guilty of committing sexual assault. Charlie Elphicke, who represented Dover in Parliament, was given a two-year jail sentence in 2020 for three counts of sexual assault against two women. Imran Ahmad Khan, who previously served as the MP for Wakefield, was sentenced to 18 months in prison last year for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.
Previously, the speaker of the House of Commons would announce whenever an MP was arrested. However, this tradition was discontinued in 2016 after MPs voted to provide more confidentiality to their fellow MPs who are arrested.
In the year 2019, the parliament has been faced with numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against MPs from various political parties.
Recently, Peter Bone, a member of the Conservative party, was banned from parliament for six weeks due to a watchdog’s investigation that revealed he had engaged in harassment and bullying towards a staff member and also exposed his genitals in close proximity to their face.
Boris Johnson’s deputy chief whip, Chris Pincher, stepped down as an MP after getting an eight-week suspension from parliament following an investigation that found he had groped two men at a private members’ club in 2022.
Additional controversies involve the departure of Neil Parish, the Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton, who stepped down in April 2022 after confessing to viewing adult content on his mobile device while in the Commons.
In 2022, David Warburton, a Conservative MP, had his membership revoked after the Sunday Times revealed that three women had accused him of inappropriate behavior. He resigned earlier this year, citing a lack of fair treatment from the governing body during their investigation into the allegations of misconduct.
Another Conservative Member of Parliament, Julian Knight, had his party membership revoked due to an accusation of sexual misconduct. Knight denied the allegation and claimed he was being unfairly targeted by baseless rumors.
The investigation by the police was dropped, but the whip was not reinstated. This decision was made after the Conservative party claimed that there were additional complaints made to the whips’ office. The individual in question will not be running for MP again.
A previous member of the Conservative party, Rob Roberts, is now an independent member after being suspended from parliament for six weeks. An independent panel found him guilty of repeatedly making unwanted sexual advances towards a former staff member. He also used his power as an employer to pressure the staff member.
The Labour party has suspended an MP for accusations of sexual misconduct. Geraint Davies, a veteran MP, had his Labour privileges revoked after multiple women came forward with claims of sexual harassment that spanned several years. No official complaints were filed and Davies denies the allegations.
Labour MP Charlotte Nichols has previously criticized her party for not taking sufficient action regarding an accusation of sexual misconduct against a frontbencher.