UK Tory MP Crispin Blunt arrested on suspicion of rape

LONDON — Veteran Conservative MP Crispin Blunt has been arrested on suspicion of rape, he confirmed Thursday night.

In a statement, Blunt named himself as the MP at the center of earlier media reports on an arrested lawmaker.

He expressed confidence he would be cleared, and has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Under English law, suspects are not routinely named before charges, if any, are levied by prosecutors.

But in a statement, Blunt said: “It has been reported that an MP was arrested yesterday in connection with an allegation of rape. I am confirming that MP was me. The fact of the arrest required a formal notification of the [House of Commons] speaker and then my chief whip.”

He added: “I have now been interviewed twice in connection with this incident, the first time three weeks ago, when I initially reported my concern over extortion.

“The second time was earlier this morning 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.” 

A spokesperson for Surrey Police said: “We can confirm a man in his 60s was arrested yesterday morning (October 25) in Horley on suspicion of rape and possession of controlled substances.

“He has been released on conditional police bail pending further enquiries.”

The Conservative Party whip has been suspended from Blunt pending the outcome of the police probe, and he has been asked to stay away from the parliamentary estate.

Blunt, 63, has been the MP for Reigate since 1997, and has served as a justice minister and as chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee.

The arrest is the latest incident to hit Rishi Sunak’s governing Conservative Party, which separately on Wednesday saw a long-serving MP suspended over allegations he had bullied and harassed a member of staff.

Dan Bloom contributed reporting.