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Sunday 2 August 2020

Arrested Tory MP - DO NOT NAME NAMES

The speculation game has begun this morning after the Murdoch Sunday Times revealed “Tory ex-minister arrested over rape”, well, allegations of rape, anyway. This quickly made its way to the Mail on Sunday, where it became “Ex-minister is facing devastating claims from young Commons aide … TORY MP QUIZZED BY POLICE OVER SEX ATTACKS”.
So far, so cheap and sensational. So what’s the story? The Guardian has toldA former Conservative minister has been arrested after a woman accused him of rape, sexual assault and coercive control, it was reported last night. The Metropolitan police confirmed they had launched an investigation into four alleged incidents between July 2019 and January 2020 at different locations in London. They said ‘a man in his 50s’ was taken into custody early yesterday and was still in a police station in east London last night”.

There was more. “He faces allegations from a woman who reportedly worked on the parliamentary estate that he abused her on several occasions. She alleges that the MP assaulted her, forced her to have sex, and left her so traumatised that she had to go to hospital, according to the claim”. Did she report this to anyone?

The Sunday Times reported that a fellow Conservative MP first raised the woman’s allegation with Mark Spencer, the Tory chief whip, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, after speaking to the alleged victim a month ago. The Press Association said that Spencer had advised her to make a formal complaint”.

Having put a few clues out there, and by doing so implying that our free and fearless press already knows the name in the frame, the inevitable guessing game has started. To no surprise at all, there are rather a lot of Tory MPs in their 50s who could be called “ex-ministers”, some better known, and indeed more notorious, than others.
But there is one very good reason that the Police, and the press, have not named their suspect yet: at this stage, this is only a series of allegations, the interview process appears not to be complete, and no charges have been brought. The suspect enjoys the same rights as anyone else before the law. The cops haven’t named him; nor should we.

Yes, there is the possibility that the Tory Party, and in particular the chief whip and leader of the Commons could have acted rather more swiftly, given that the latest of the alleged incidents happened in January this year, and an arrest was only effected yesterday. But that is no reason to name the ex-minister before the cops are good and ready.

You want the alleged victim to get justice? Of course you do. You want the possibility of seeing a Tory MP get put on trial and then put away? You may also like that idea. But neither outcome will be possible if the process is prejudiced and the suspect is able to argue that his rights to a fair trial have been compromised.

That’s why all should be patient. In the meantime, do not name names. PLEASE.
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Anonymous said...

I've no intention of naming names, even though the world and his wife is rampant with it.

tory "family values" are at stake here.

For the umpteenth time.

Arnold said...

I know who it is. It's - Arrgghh!

Unknown said...

I vivdly remember john Major's rather puzzling speech on 'Back to basics', a moral crusade to restore family values in public life..

That didnt end well..

Anyone who has worked in politics like me, are aware that the Palaces of Westminster are akin to the Mos Eisley spaceport in Star Wars..

As the wise Obi wan stated to Luke Skywalker there is every type of scum and villany there..

Westminister is no different..

so why people are surprised beats me, whenever the cat's away the mice will play..

Unknown said...

Sorry This Is Like Soviet Russia Where There Was Some Sort Of Secret Censorship.
Lets Have The Name Out There All The Politico Journalists Know Why Not The Public.
# Freedom Of Speech.

The Toffee (597) said...

Let's at least try to narrow it down...Let's play the career stammer 'forensic' (Psychology) challenge...

RULES: You get three goes to who you think it could be but the clues must not directly link to your suspect.

Example: You can't say they lied about watching porn on HoC computers (Cant be Damien Grope anyway cos he's too old)

Anyway, I'll go first...

1. Obviously isn't very good at his job. Neither motivated, nor intelligent enough, with delusions of grandeur about his status - which (thankfully and rightly) isn't as over-elevated as it once was (but still far higher than the suspect deserves)

2. Will have been the subject of at least one high-profile controversy (other than this alleged rape) while in government. Possibly more than one, and likely expense related. He has made a highly contentious comment or opinion, or just fucked up generally. There'll definitely be something they've got away with that they shouldn't have, that's for sure.

3. If charged and named, it won't come as a major surprise to plenty of people.

david walsh said...

What is interesting is the utter silence from Guido Towers. Not a peep. Had it been some hapless Labour ex-minister or a shadow, the lights would have been burning through the night, the pizzas would have been on rolling order and the phones would have been red hot from fishing calls. Instead silence. Nothing to see here sir, so please move along.....

Anonymous said...

Sad but true.

Unknown said...

Absolutely right, people like Guido are happy for free speech as long as his friends are protected. Hypocrite of the first order.

Anonymous said...

Tim Fenton is wide of the mark as to why the MP has not been named. A law was passed in 2016 that keep arrests of MPs secret from the public.


Samwiz said...

That’s absolute tosh. There’s no such law. Can you imagine the outcry if they tried to pass that?