PM Rishi Sunak urges reporting of serious rape allegations against a Conservative MP.
Former Tory chairman Sir Jake Berry alerted police after leaving his post.
Labor and Lib Dems call for an internal party investigation.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has emphasized the gravity of allegations involving a Conservative MP accused of multiple rapes, urging individuals with evidence of wrongdoing to report it to the police.
These allegations came to light following former Tory Party chairman Sir Jake Berry’s correspondence with the police after leaving his post last year.
Both the Labor and Liberal Democrat parties have called for an internal party investigation into the handling of these accusations, as Sir Jake Berry informed the police that some individuals’ inaction allowed the alleged perpetrator to continue their offenses, as reported by the Mail on Sunday.
While Mr. Sunak stated that the Conservative Party has robust independent complaint procedures in place, questions were raised during his visit to Bacton Gas Terminal in Norfolk about whether the allegations had been concealed and whether any investigations were underway.
He told broadcasters: “These are very serious, anonymous allegations.
“It may be that they allude to something that is already the subject of a live police investigation, so I hope you understand it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on that further specifically.
“More broadly the Conservative Party has robust independent complaint procedures in place, but I would say to anybody who has information or evidence about any criminal acts to of course talk to the police, that’s the right course of action.”
On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, who served as the party chairman from September 2021 to June 2022, denied any allegations of a cover-up within the party.
He did clarify that he couldn’t comment on the specific case since he didn’t know the identity of the unnamed MP in question.
Sir Jake Berry, the Member of Parliament for Rossendale and Darwen, held the position of Tory Party chairman during Liz Truss’s 49-day premiership last year.
According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, Sir Jake became aware of a series of allegations against an MP, referred to as “X,” when he assumed the role in September 2022.
The newspaper disclosed that after stepping down from his role the following month, Sir Jake, along with former Chief Whip Wendy Morton, wrote to the police to express their concerns about the party’s handling of these claims.
Excerpts from the letter, as published by the newspaper, revealed that these matters had persisted for over two years, and Sir Jake expressed concern about the failure of others to take action, allowing “X” to continue offending.
A published extract reads: “There may have been five victims of X – who have been subject to a range of offences including multiple rapes.”
It also claims one unnamed individual was receiving ongoing support at the expense of the Conservative Party.
Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, who chairs the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, said the case was “horrific”.
During her interview on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, she emphasized the necessity for political parties to establish transparent procedures for handling complaints made by individuals.
Furthermore, she stressed the importance of offering support to alleged victims in their pursuit of legal action by involving the police.
“My sense is one of horror and despair that still we haven’t got in place a mechanism that will support victims, that will make sure that individuals who are accused of horrific acts are not still free to wonder around Parliament, free to meet with their constituents in constituency surgeries,” she said.
Anneliese Dodds, the Chairwoman of the Labour Party, expressed deep concern about the allegations and called for a comprehensive investigation to be carried out by the Conservative Party.
Wendy Chamberlain, the Chief Whip of the Liberal Democrats, also voiced her concern and urged for a thorough investigation, describing the reports as deeply troubling.
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