Over the past 25 years in parliament, Crispin Blunt has gained a reputation for being a determined politician with some unconventional views as a member of the Conservative party. However, his time spent primarily on the sidelines has kept him from being widely recognized.
On Thursday, Blunt made headlines for revealing that he was the Member of Parliament who had been arrested for suspected rape and drug possession. He expressed confidence that the investigation would conclude without any charges being filed.
The Reigate MP, who has been instructed to stay away from parliament during the investigation and has had the Conservative whip revoked, released a statement claiming that he had previously gone to the police about an allegation of extortion in regards to the same incident.
63-year-old Blunt, who was granted unconditional bail, has been the representative for Surrey since 1997. He may be more recognizable to those uninterested in politics as the uncle of actress Emily Blunt. This also means that he is related to US actor Stanley Tucci, who is married to Emily Blunt’s sister, Felicity.
Upon entry into parliament, Blunt assumed several lower-level positions as a shadow minister while the Conservative party was not in power. It was during this time that he first demonstrated his tendency to act independently, stepping down from his position on Iain Duncan Smith’s frontbench in 2003. Blunt compared Smith to an unsuccessful soccer coach who needed to be replaced.
During David Cameron’s tenure as Prime Minister in 2010, Blunt served as prisons minister for two years. However, his outspoken nature often caused controversy.
Cameron became frustrated with his coworker when Blunt made a statement that angered the tabloids by suggesting relaxed rules for parties in prisons. Their relationship was strained further when Blunt joked about how the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University, of which Cameron was a member, allowed wealthy individuals to break laws without consequences.
A previous captain in the military, who served for 10 years before pursuing a career in politics, including working as an advisor to the foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind. Blunt spent two years starting in 2015 as the chair of the foreign affairs select committee, but has since focused on advocating for various causes.
These have included an adherence to humanism – he has questioned the way parliamentary sessions begin with prayers – and a willingness to criticise Israel and back Palestinian causes. Shortly before he lost the whip, Blunt was the only Conservative MP to sign an early day motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
During his latest speech in the Commons on Tuesday, Blunt inquired about the government’s strategy for addressing the problem of Israeli settlers forcefully taking over Palestinian territory.
Blunt is a well-known supporter of LGBT rights, even though he initially voted against certain LGBT-friendly actions in his early time as a member of parliament. He has since apologized for this decision.
In 2010, while serving as prisons minister, Blunt’s office made an official statement that he and his wife Victoria, whom he had been married to for 20 years and shared two children with, had separated. He also revealed that he was “coming to terms with his homosexuality.”
This information caused concern among the Conservative party members in his district, and there was a chance that he could lose his position as a result.
Over a year and a half ago, Blunt announced his intention to retire at the upcoming election. Several months later, he became one of the initial Conservative MPs to openly demand Liz Truss step down as prime minister, stating that it was evident she needed to resign.