Senior Tory MP Crispin Blunt has been suspended from the Conservative party after being arrested on suspicion of rape and possession of controlled substances.
Blunt – MP for Reigate since 1997 – said he first raised the incident with police three weeks ago because he was concerned about extortion. He called the arrest “unnecessary” and said he will “cooperate fully” with the ongoing police investigation adding he is “confident” he will not be charged.
The 63-year-old released a statement on social media confirming he was the unmanned Tory member arrested on suspicion of rape, as first reported by the Sun newspaper.
Blunt said he has “been interviewed twice” over an allegation of rape, “the first time three weeks ago, when I initially reported my concern over extortion.
“The second time was earlier this morning [October 26) under caution following arrest The arrest was unnecessary as I remain ready to cooperate fully with the investigation that I am confident will end without charge..
“I do not intend to say anything further on this matter until the police have completed their inquiries.”
He has had the whip removed from the Conservative party pending the outcome of the police inquiry and has been asked to stay away for parliament.
Blunt – a former army officer who trained at Sandhurst – “is a co-director of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), which has warned prime minister Rishi Sunak of its intention to prosecute government officials over their support for Israel in its war against Hamas,” states the Independent.
On October 16, the Telegraph reported that Blunt claimed the government could be complicit of war crimes being perpetuated in Gaza.
Talking to Sky News earlier this month, Blunt said: “If you know that a party is going to commit a war crime – and this forcible transfer of people is a precise breach of one of the statutes that governs international law and all states in this area – then you are making yourself complicit.
“And as international law has developed in this area, the fact of being complicit makes you equally guilty to the party carrying out the crime.”
Blunt won a majority of more than 18,000 in December 2019. His parliamentary career has seen him take shadow ministerial posts in Northern Ireland, trade and national security as well as being opposition whip. When David Cameron became prime minister Blunt was made parliamentary under-secretary for prisons and youth justice (2010-12). From 2015-17 he chaired the foreign affairs select committee.
From 2003-08 Blunt was chair of the Conservative Middle East Council. He has also chaired the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on LGBT+ affairs and the APPG on Humanism.
The Independent reports that in 2010, Blunt separated from his wife of “almost 20 years — with whom he had two teenage children — to ‘come to terms with his homosexuality’. He is also uncle to actress Emily Blunt.”
The suspension from the party of a Tory MP after their arrest on suspicion of rape and possession of controlled substances, comes just a day after senior Conservative MP Tory Peter Bone was suspended from parliament over allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying.
Bone’s suspension comes more than six years after the 70-year-old’s former aide first made a complaint to the Conservative party, in September2017.
The former aide has described how Bone’s “physical, emotional and psychological abuse” has left him a “broken shell of the young man I once was.”
Bone – made deputy leader of the House of Commons by Boris Johnson in 2022 – calls the allegations “false and untrue”. He was suspended after a ruling by Parliament’s Independent Expert panel (IEP) that he “committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a member of his staff in 2012 and 2013.
Bone’s six week suspension has triggered a recall petition. A byelection will be called If 10% of voters in the Wellingborough and Northamptonshire constituency sign the petition.