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‘I was raped by senior party figure & it was ignored by Commons,’ says Tory activist

‘I was raped by senior party figure & it was ignored by Commons,’ says Tory activist
A Tory activist who alleged she was raped by a senior party figure has claimed her complaint was ignored when she reported it to the House of Commons. The woman, known only as Amanda, has opened up about the “violent rape” that “destroyed” her.

“It wasn’t in Westminster, it was in my own home,” she told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire program. “And it shouldn't have happened. I remember the attack, during the attack. I remember the room disappearing around me and thinking I was going to die. When he left the next day I was at the police station within an hour and I reported it.”

Amanda’s alleged attacker was not an MP, and he strongly denied the rape claims. Police reviewed the evidence before dropping the case.

Amanda, whose name has been changed to protect the identity of both parties, said the Commons’ clerk did little to respond to her claims of rape. During a half-an-hour talk with clerk David Natzler she said that Westminster’s toxic “heavy drinking and sex-driven” culture had contributed to the alleged attack.

She believed that her ordeal and her concerns about workplace culture would be raised with Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom and then-Chief Whip Gavin Williamson. She thought that a meeting could be set up with them to discuss it further.

Instead, Amanda claims she never heard from either of them.

'Leadsom knew'

Andrea Leadsom has admitted she was aware police were conducting a criminal investigation into a senior Tory official, but failed to investigate further. She originally denied any knowledge of the rape claim.

Now, the Leader of the House claims she was told by Natzler about the rape, and that police were conducting an investigation into the alleged attack.

According to the Telegraph, Leadsom was not told the identity of the activist or her alleged assailant. She claims she did not take any further action on the rape claim due to the ongoing police investigation that was being conducted at the time.

“The clerk did raise to the leader of the house that there were allegations that were being dealt with as a criminal matter,” said a spokesman for Leadsom.

“It was not appropriate for her to take any action because it was being dealt with as a criminal matter.”

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, the House of Commons media department confirmed a female Tory activist had met with Natzler to discuss her alleged attack.

“A private conversation took place earlier in the year between the Clerk of the House and a Conservative Party activist, at her request,” the statement reads.

“This conversation arose as a result of an alleged rape which had already been investigated by the police and for which criminal proceedings had been instigated.

“The allegation was mentioned but was not the focus of the discussion, as the incident had not taken place on the Parliamentary Estate, and the activist had not been employed on the Estate.”

In a statement to the BBC, Natzler confirmed that the discussion took place but that the allegation was “not the focus,” and that it would not have been appropriate to refer the allegations to other House authorities because “there was already a criminal case under way.”

Gavin Williamson was promoted to defence secretary last week after his predecessor Michael Fallon resigned amid multiple reports of harassment and sexual assault.