Saturday 24 February 2018

Drink spiked with date rape drug among new Westminster sexual assault allegations

The Palace of Westminster. Stock picture
The Palace of Westminster. Stock picture

Harriet Agerholm

A new allegation of sexual assault in Westminster has emerged amid the deepening harassment scandal.

A woman said a Conservative MP she worked for grabbed her by her crotch from behind. She said she later told the Commons authorities about the incident, but was told there was "nothing they could do".

In a separate incident, a former Conservative Party aide said her drink was spiked with a suspected date-rape drug in the Strangers' Bar at the House of Commons. The bar is reserved for MPs and their guests.

When the woman went to police, she was reportedly told it was "not the first time" allegations of drinks being spiked had been made at the Commons.

The fresh claims, first reported by the Evening Standard, follow multiple allegations of sexual harassment by British politicians.

The accusers have not been named for legal reasons.

The woman who was assaulted said the incident occured four years ago. The Conservative MP she worked for had previously made comments that made her feel uncomfortable, she said, but she had not felt "physically threatened" before.

She was working with him late one afternoon when he approached her from behind and put his hand up her skirt, she said.

"Out of nowhere he just put his hand between my legs. I was totally shocked. I just froze. It was over in seconds and I just ran out of the room. It was never mentioned," she said.

She later started working for another MP and reported the assault to the Commons authorities. “They were very nice but they essentially told me I had to talk to the party or to the police, there wasn’t anything they could do,” she said.

Amber Rudd on Wednesday told a policing summit in London a cross-party group had been launched to examine the way allegations of sexual abuse and impropriety were handled.

Labour activist Bex Bailey last night revealed how she had been raped at a party event in 2011. She said she was later told by an official that reporting it could "damage" her.

Meanwhile, a list circulating online alleges several Tory ministers are guilty of inappropriate sexual behaviour, with the latest claims levelled at First Secretary of State Damian Green.

Tory activist Kate Maltby, who is 30 years younger than Mr Green, has accused him of touching her knee during a meeting and of sending her a "suggestive" text message after she was pictured wearing a corset in a newspaper.

Mr Green, who is effectively Theresa May's deputy, has denied the claims.

Independent News Service

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