LONDON (AP) — A prominent lawmaker within Britain's governing Conservative Party revealed Thursday that he has been arrested in connection with a rape allegation.
Crispin Blunt, 63, said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he was arrested Wednesday and that he has twice been interviewed by police in connection with what he termed “this incident.”
Blunt, who has been a lawmaker since 1997 and a former minister, said he was first interviewed three weeks ago when he “initially reported” his concern over an unnamed “extortion.”
The second time, he said, was “earlier this morning under caution following arrest.”
He added that the arrest was “unnecessary” and that he remains “ready to cooperate fully with the investigation that I am confident will end without charge.”
“I do not intend to say anything further on this matter until the police have completed their inquiries," he added.
Blunt’s statement came soon after Surrey Police said they had arrested a man Wednesday morning in the town of Horley, which is about 60 miles (about 100 kilometers) south of London, on suspicion of rape and the possession of controlled substances.
A spokesperson for the police said the individual “has been released on conditional police bail pending further inquiries.”
After Blunt identified himself, the Conservative Party suspended him pending the outcome of the police investigation, meaning he is now an independent. Blunt has previously announced that he won't be standing again at the next U.K.-wide election, which has to take place by January 2025.
Blunt is the latest in a string of sitting lawmakers from across political parties to be arrested on allegations of sexual offenses. On Wednesday, another Conservative lawmaker was suspended from Parliament for six weeks after an investigation found he had bullied and been sexually inappropriate around a former staffer. The lawmaker, Peter Bone, has denied any wrongdoing.