A Conservative MP and former minister who was arrested on suspicion of rape has “voluntarily agreed” not to attend the House of Commons while on bail, speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has said.
The MP, who has not been named, was arrested on 1 August on suspicion of rape, sexual assault and coercive control.
The allegations were made by a woman in her 20s who was was a former parliamentary employee of the MP.
The Tory party has faced criticism for not suspending the MP following his arrest.
Labour MP Jess Phillips, who is also shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, said the decision “sends a devastating signal of disregard”.
Writing in the i, Phillips said: “The Tory party should have suspended the accused MP immediately.
“Suspension is a neutral act in terms of the criminal justice process and does not assume ultimate guilt or innocence.”
A joint statement by women’s rights groups and trade unions, including the TUC and Women’s Aid, called on Boris Johnson to suspend the MP in question.
The statement read: “Given the seriousness of the allegations we’re calling on parliament to suspend the MP arrested on suspicion of rape, pending a full investigation.
“The House of Commons should be no different from any other workplace.”
According to PoliticsHome, one trade union told the speaker that allowing the MP to attend the House of Commons while on bail would amount to “allowing parliament to avoid taking responsibility for its own duty towards its employees”.
In a statement to the Commons, Sir Lindsay discouraged MPs from using parliamentary privilege to the name the MP.
He said: “The House will know that a member has been arrested in connection with an investigation into an allegation of a very serious criminal offence.
“I have received assurances from the member and the government chief whip that the member has voluntarily agreed not to attend the House of Commons for the period of the bail.
“I, the House of Commons Commission and the House service take the safety of our staff and the parliamentary community as a whole very seriously, and ensuring any necessary measures are taken in respect of MPs and employers and staff.”