Tory MP Julian Knight has been suspended from the parliamentary party after allegations of serious sexual assault were made against him to the Metropolitan Police.
A spokesperson for the Conservative chief whip, Simon Hart, confirmed a complaint was made to the force last night and, as a result, he had removed the whip “with immediate effect”.
It means Mr Knight, who is also the chair of the Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, will now sit as an independent MP.
But now the Met has released further details, saying in a statement: “On 28th October, police received allegations of serious sexual assault against un-named victims reported to have taken place on unknown dates at undisclosed locations.
“On 7th December a further referral relating to the incident[s] was made and an investigation was launched.
“Inquiries are ongoing. There have been no arrests.”
After the statement was released, Mr Knight published a letter on Twitter to the chief whip, saying: “For the avoidance of any doubt, I can state categorically that I am entirely innocent of any wrongdoing whatever.”
He claimed no-one from Mr Hart’s office had spoken to him before he had the whip removed or before he was named in their statement, and that he had not heard anything from the police or parliament’s internal grievance service.
“It seems unfortunate and completely wrong that I have to make this statement after the public linking of my good name as a Conservative MP with an apparently serious but entirely unspecified offence,” the MP added.
“By unilaterally and publicly suspending the whip you have stripped me of the rights to anonymity or a fair hearing in any judicial forum or, indeed, in the court of public opinion.”
On Wednesday, he also said he would be recusing himself from parliament “until the matter is resolved”.
A source close to the chief whip said he had been in touch with Mr Knight last night.
Mr Knight joined parliament in 2015, representing the seat of Solihull, having worked as a journalist before entering politics.