Senior MP Crispin Blunt has been suspended by the Tories after being arrested on suspicion of rape and the possession of controlled substances.
The former minister, 63, identified himself as the man that Surrey Police detained in Horley on Wednesday morning, before his release on conditional bail.
The MP for Reigate said he will “co-operate fully” with the ongoing investigation and is “confident” that he will not be charged.
After identifying himself, Mr Blunt had the whip suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation, meaning he is now an Independent.
Who is Crispin Blunt?
Born in 1960 in Germany to English parents, he has an armed forces background.
After an education at Wellington College, a young Mr Blunt won the Queen’s Medal at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, gaining a regular commission.
He served as an army officer into the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own) until 1990, before entering politics in 1997.
In 2010 he announced he was separating from his wife of almost 20 years — with whom he had two teenage children — to “come to terms with his homosexuality”. He is also uncle to actress Emily Blunt.
How long has he been an MP?
He was first elected as MP for Reigate in 1997 and holds a majority of more than 18,000.
With Labour in power he served as opposition spokesperson for Northern Ireland, shadow trade minister, opposition whip and shadow minister for national security.
He was chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council from 2003 to 2008 and has chaired the all-party parliamentary group on global LGBT+ affairs.
From 2010 to 2012, he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary for prisons and youth justice under then prime minister David Cameron. He was chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee from 2015 to 2017.
He was also chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Humanism, and according to theyworkforyou.com, he has consistently voted for allowing terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their life, contrary to most Tory MPs.
Last year, he was the first Tory MP to call for Liz Truss to stand down as prime minister following her disastrous mini-Budget. “The game is up,” he told Channel 4’s Andrew Neil.
He is a co-director of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians, which has warned prime minister Rishi Sunak of its intention to prosecute government officials over their support for Israel in its war against Hamas.
He previously said he will quit Westminster at the next election.
What has he said about the arrest?
After the Conservative Party suspended the whip from Mr Blunt, he said in a statement: “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.”
He added: “I do not intend to say anything further on this matter until the police have completed their inquiries.”