A Conservative MP has been arrested after being accused of rape, sexual assault and coercive control, according to reports.
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 reported.
A spokesman for the Met said: “The Met has launched an investigation into the allegations.”
A man was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of rape and was taken into custody at an east London police station, the force added.
He has been released on bail to a date in mid-August.
The papers said the allegations were raised with Tory chief whip Mark Spencer, and the complainant also spoke to him – but no action was taken.
The PA news agency understands Spencer advised her to make a formal complaint to the authorities who would be able to investigate the claims.
A spokesman for Spencer said: “The Chief Whip takes all allegations of harassment and abuse extremely seriously and has strongly encouraged anybody who has approached him to contact the appropriate authorities, including Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, which can formally carry out independent and confidential investigations.”
Robert Jenrick, asked on Times Radio whether Parliament was a “safe space” for young women to work following the MP rape allegations, said: “It needs to be.
“There has clearly been some very difficult allegations and cases in recent years.
“We need to make sure, like any other workplace, it is one that’s fit for everybody where everybody feels safe and comfortable working, and when allegations are raised they are treated with the seriousness they deserve.”
Asked whether he personally wanted to see the Tory whip removed from the MP under police investigation, Mr Jenrick said: “We need to take allegations of this nature very seriously and I’m confident that the party is and will do. “
A Conservative Party spokesman said: “We take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously. As this matter is now in the hands of the police it would be inappropriate to comment further.”