An unnamed member of the United Kingdom's Conservative Party has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.
A man was taken into custody over allegations of sexual assault in the early 2000s, the London Metropolitan Police announced. The arrest creates another headache for a party already saddled with the "Partygate" scandal and its fallout.
"In January 2020, the Met received a report relating to alleged sexual offences having been committed between 2002 and 2009," a Metropolitan Police spokesman said in a statement to the BBC published Tuesday. "The offenses are alleged to have occurred in London." The spokesman also confirmed that "A man ... was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office."
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"The Chief Whip has asked that the MP concerned does not attend the Parliamentary Estate while an investigation is ongoing. Until the conclusion of the investigation we will not be commenting further," a Conservative Party spokesman told the outlet.
The investigation is led by officers from the Central Specialist Crime unit.
The arrest arises following a series of sexual misconduct allegations against MPs. Imran Ahmad Khan resigned from his post on April 28 after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage boy. Neil Parish, a member of the Conservative Party, resigned from his post on April 30 after getting caught watching porn in Westminster.
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The Conservative Party has come under scrutiny in the last few months over how British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several members of the Conservative Party breached COVID-19 protocols several times by hosting parties at Downing Street. Johnson issued a "wholehearted apology" over the affair but was still scrutinized by the opposition's leadership.
Partygate has had a detrimental effect on Conservatives' electoral prospects, losing the party nearly 500 seats in local elections.