Rishi Sunak has described allegations that a Tory MP committed a series of rapes as “very serious” as he insisted his party’s complaints procedures are “robust”.
The Prime Minister urged anyone with evidence of criminal acts to go to the police on Monday amid calls for an investigation into the party’s handling of the claims.
Sir Jake Berry, a former Tory Party chairman, is said to have warned the police that an internal “failure” to act on allegations allowed the unnamed MP to “continue to offend”.
Speaking on a visit to Bacton Gas Terminal in Norfolk, the Prime Minister 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 police, that’s the right course of action.”
Opposition parties have urged the Conservatives to investigate the allegations over the unidentified MP, who was able to continue in their role in Parliament.
According to a copy of a letter obtained by the Mail On Sunday, Sir Jake wrote to police saying that the MP targeted as many as five people with little to no consequence, with some of the allegations including multiple rapes.
The former party chairman said that the “failure of others to act has enabled” the MP to “continue to offend and to victimise women”.
It is alleged that he found out about the allegations when he discovered the Conservatives had covered the cost of treatment for one of the complainants at a private hospital.
Labour Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds has called the allegations “deeply concerning and extremely serious”, as she urged the Tories to investigate.
Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain urged Mr Sunak to launch an investigation over the “deeply disturbing” claims.
On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, also a former Tory chairman, told broadcasters he was not aware of the allegations and did not know who the alleged culprit was.
He told the BBC: “I don’t recognise in any form the idea that we covered up.”
But Mr Sunak’s deputy later said he could not rule out that the party might have paid for treatment for an alleged victim.
He told Times Radio: “I’m not denying that it could be the case that those payments were made, but it is not something that I authorised or (was) part of as chairman of the Conservative Party.”
It was reported that Sir Jake wrote the letter, co-signed by former chief whip Wendy Morton, shortly after leaving the chairman’s job in October 2022.
Published: by Radio NewsHub