Tuesday, May 28

Tories rocked by shock new claim of violent rape by senior figure



A new controversy engulfed Westminster today when a woman accused House of Commons authorities of ignoring her claim that she was raped by a Conservative Party figure.

I was raped by someone senior to me in the Conservative Party, alleged the woman, who is a Tory activist.

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It was violent. It wasn’t in Westminster, it was in my own home. And it shouldn’t have happened.

The case raised questions of whether the House of Commons has done enough to protect victims after it emerged that a warning given to the authorities about the man allegedly responsible was not passed on.

Theresa May was due to meet other party leaders this afternoon to try to hammer out protection for MPs’ staff who fall victim to sexual harassment and independent punishment for culprits. However, the tide of scandals showed no sign of retreating:

The Prime Minister ducked a question after her CBI speech about whether she was aware of allegations of sexual misconduct before the furore broke over the past two weeks.

Jeremy Corbyn said MPs should be trained after each general election in employment standards and complaints overseen by an independent authority.

The former head of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, accused MPs of being resistant to change and urged them to transfer thousands of staff to a central employment body.

The latest alleged victim complained last year to a senior Commons official, Clerk of the House David Natzler.

She said she was led to believe her case and points would be passed on to the then Conservative chief whip Gavin Williamson and Commons leader Andrea Leadsom. However, neither was told because Mr Natzler felt constrained by a pending prosecution that was later dropped.

The victim, known only as Amanda, revealed her experience on the Victoria Derbyshire programme, saying: I remember the room disappearing around me and thinking I was going to die. When he left the next day I was at the police station within an hour.

Amanda said: The parliamentary authorities never followed it up with me either. I heard nothing.

A parliamentary spokesman confirmed the 25-minute meeting with Mr Natzler took place but said: There was no question of formally ‘referring’ the allegations to other House authorities as there was already a criminal case.