A Tory MP suspected of rape will not be suspended from the party while investigations are ongoing, the party’s whip office said.
A spokesperson said the allegations were “serious” and “it is right that they are fully investigated”.
The Sunday Times reported that the allegations against the former minister were made by a former parliamentary employee.
The MP, in his 50s, was arrested on Saturday and has since been released on bail.
Metropolitan Police said the allegations related to four separate incidents that allegedly took place between July 2019 and January 2020.
A spokesperson for the Conservative Party’s whip office said, “The whip has not been suspended. This decision will be reviewed once the police investigation is completed. ”
This means he can continue to sit in the House of Commons as a Conservative.
The Labor Party said the move was “shocking” and sent a “terrible message from Westminster”.
The Sunday Times, which first reported the story, said the complainant alleges the MP assaulted her, forced her to have sex and left her so traumatized that she had to be get to the hospital.
Metropolitan Police said they have opened an investigation into the allegations.
“On Friday, July 31, the Metropolitan Police Department received allegations relating to four separate incidents involving allegations of sexual offenses and assault,” police said in a statement.
“These offenses were reportedly committed at addresses in Westminster, Lambeth and Hackney between July 2019 and January 2020.
“A man in his 50s was arrested on Saturday August 1 on suspicion of rape. He was released on bail to return on a date in mid-August. ”
For Labor, shadow domestic violence and protection minister Jess Phillips told Times Radio that the MP accused of rape should have the party whip removed while investigations continue.
She said failing to do so “sends a terrible message from Westminster”.
Ms Phillips also said: “I find it shocking… that the Conservative Party has decided not to remove the whip in this matter. ”
There are also reports that the Conservative Party’s chief whip, Mark Spencer, was aware of the allegations – and has spoken to the alleged victim before.
Sources said Mr. Spencer did not know the “scale” of the allegations.
A spokesperson for the chief whip said he took all allegations of harassment and abuse very seriously and strongly encouraged anyone who approached him to contact the appropriate authorities.