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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - MP who condemned UK leaders for ‘aiding’ Israeli ‘war crimes’ arrested on suspicion of rape, drug possession
LONDON: A Conservative MP in the UK who told Arab News last week that Western leaders face prosecution for complicity in Israeli war crimes has been arrested on suspicion of rape and drug possession.
Crispin Blunt, the MP for Reigate and co-director of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians, confirmed on X that he had been arrested following reports that a politician had been detained by police on Wednesday.
“It has been reported that an MP was arrested yesterday in connection with an allegation of rape. I am confirming that MP was me,” Blunt wrote on Thursday.
“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 63-year-old added: “The arrest was unnecessary as I remain ready to cooperate 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.”
Education Minister Gillian Keegan told Times Radio that Blunt had been suspended by the Conservatives whilst the investigation was ongoing.
“Due to the serious nature of the allegations ... he’s had the whip suspended, but the police are involved now so beyond that it’s not really appropriate for me to comment any further,” she said.
A spokesperson for Surrey Police told The Independent: “We can confirm a man was arrested yesterday morning (Oct. 25) on suspicion of rape and possession of controlled substances. He has been released on conditional police bail pending further enquiries.”
Blunt is a supporter of the Palestinian cause and recently spoke out about Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, urging “restraint” to prevent further loss of civilian life and saying Israel must act “within the law.”
Speaking to the “Ray Hanania Show” on Oct. 18, he added that the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians planned to take UK officials to court for “aiding and abetting war crimes in Gaza.”
The intention of such action, he said, was “to try and get the Israelis to pause, have her allies saying, asking her, to think again about the consequences of the scale of the action that they might be contemplating against Gaza.”
Blunt added: “The Palestinians have been on the wrong end of history for about 100 years. You can’t go on like this.
“In the end, there has to be a measure of justice if both sides are to have security, and it’s only if we can find a route for justice for the Palestinians that the Israelis can find security along with the Palestinians.”
He said: “What we’re trying to do is actually to avert what would undoubtedly be a disaster, which is the crime from Hamas of the appalling assault on Israel and the killing of so many utterly innocent Israelis being responded to with another crime. That’s a path we should avoid going down.”
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