Crispin Blunt: Surrey Conservative MP arrested on suspicion of rape and possession of drugs
Conservative MP Crispin Blunt has been arrested on suspicion of rape and possession of controlled substances.
The MP for Reigate, 63, identified himself as the man who was detained by Surrey Police on Wednesday morning (26 October), before being released on conditional bail "pending further inquiries". Blunt said on X: "It has been reported that an MP was arrested yesterday in connection with an allegation of rape. I am confirming that MP was me. The fact of the arrest requires a formal notification of the Speaker and then my Chief Whip.
“I have now been interviewed twice in connection with this incident, the first time three weeks ago, when I initially reported my concern over extortion. The second time was earlier this morning under caution following arrest. The arrest was unnecessary as I remain ready to co-operate 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.”
Surry Police said: "We can confirm a man was arrested yesterday morning (25 October) in Horley on suspicion of rape and possession of controlled substances. He has been released on conditional police bail pending further enquiries.”
Who is Crispin Blunt?
Crispin Blunt has been the Conservative MP for Reigate since 1997. Before that, he spent 11 years in the British Army rising to the rank of captain.
He was first appointed to the Tory front bench under Iain Duncan Smith in 2001, become Shadow Northern Ireland minister. However, less than two years later he resigned, saying Duncan Smith was a "handicap" to the Tories and tried to bring about his downfall. Six months later there was a confidence vote against Duncan Smith, and Michael Howard replaced him. Blunt became a whip under Howard.
In August 2010, Blunt separated from his wife of 20 years Victoria, saying he wanted "to come to terms with his homosexuality". In 2013, Blunt was reselected in Reigate by postal ballot, after the executive council had decided not to endorse him. Roger Newstead, the chairman of the Reigate South and Earlswood Branch, told the Guardian that it was "unnecessary" for Blunt to come out.
Newstead told the paper: "I would have just said if anyone had asked me: politicians have a unique lifestyle, it doesn't suit everybody and there is a long history of parliamentary marriages breaking down. You don't have to go out and tell people you have got homosexual tendencies. It is a private matter and it shouldn't have been put in the public domain.
Last year, Blunt was one of the first to call for Liz Truss to resign, saying it was "blindingly obvious" she must go. He is a prominent Eurosceptic and campaigned for Brexit. He is also a critic of Israel as co-director of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians. Blunt has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in the current conflict, going against Rishi Sunak's policy. He is also Emily Blunt's uncle.
This case is not linked to another sitting Tory MP - who cannot be named for legal reasons - who was arrested in May 2022 on historic allegations of rape and sexual assault. That member was told at the time to stay away from Parliament by Conservative whips.
The case is the latest in a string of scandals with sexual assault allegations which have cast a shadow over Westminster. In December 2022, another Conservative MP was reported to the police by their colleagues in Parliament. The allegations of “serious sexual assault” reportedly span over two years.
While another senior Tory MP was accused of using date rape drugs on four men in and around Westminster. According to a story published in the Sunday Mirror, the anonymous Conservative politician allegedly spiked the drinks of two other MPs.
Former Conservative Peter Bone was banned from Parliament for six weeks yesterday (25 October) after the Independent Expert Panel upheld bullying allegations and one sexual harassment claim. Bone has denied this.