A Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape has “voluntarily agreed” not to attend the House of Commons for the period of their bail, according to Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
The Speaker also discouraged MPs from using parliamentary privilege to name the member who was arrested.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticised for not suspending the MP from the Conservative Party, insisting a decision will be made when the police investigation is concluded.
Released on bail
The Metropolitan Police received allegations on July 31 of sexual offences and assault relating to four incidents at addresses in London, including in Westminster.
The ex-minister, who has not been named, is alleged to have assaulted a woman and forced her to have sex, the Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday said.
Scotland Yard said a man was arrested on August 1 on suspicion of rape and taken into custody at an east London police station. He was released on bail until November.
In a statement to the Commons, Sir Lindsay 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.”
He added: “While the investigation is ongoing, I believe it would be wholly inappropriate for any further reference to be made to this matter in the House, including any attempt to name the member concerned.
“I would appreciate your co-operation on this matter.”
It is “shocking” that the Tory MP has not had the whip suspended, Labour has said.
Shadow safeguarding minister Jess Phillips criticised the Tories for failing to suspend the whip from the Tory MP in question, a move that would effectively eject him from the party.
Speaking to Times Radio, the Labour MP said: “It is very difficult to comment on the case itself, because it is quite rightly in front of the criminal justice system.
“But what I would say in this matter, is in any organisation – especially one like Members of Parliament who every day work with vulnerable people, young activists, members of staff – in any other organisation, were this police investigation to be going on, somebody would be suspended while the investigation was taking place.”
Calling the lack of action “shocking”, Phillips said it sent a “terrible message” that senior figures were still able to secure “protection” from their Westminster status.
She added: “While pending a police investigation for a sexual crime, I think it is only right that the whip is withdrawn.”