SENIOR ex-Tory MP Julian Knight is being investigated by Essex Police over a “serious sexual assault claim”.
The force confirmed today it had taken on the case following a referral by the Met.
Ex-Tory MP Julian Knight is being investigated by Essex Police over a “serious sexual assault claims”
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We have agreed to take on an investigation which has been referred to us from the Metropolitan Police Service.
“We are investigating an allegation of serious sexual assault.
“Detectives who specialise in cases of this kind will gather evidence and conduct a thorough investigation.”
The force added: “We would also remind everyone that victims of sexual offences are entitled to life-long anonymity, regardless of how a case proceeds.
“The Essex Police investigation remains at an early stage.”
Last month Mr Knight announced his intention to stand down at the next general election.
The MP for Solihull, who had the Tory whip removed, said: “The past year has been for my wife and I the worst of our lives.
“I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that no job or political career is worth this.
“I will not be requesting the return of the Conservative whip. I do this in sorrow and not in anger.”
Last month the Met dropped an investigation into sexual assault allegations against Mr Knight.
But the Tory Whips refused to give the whip back.
A spokesman for Chief Whip Simon Hart said further complaints had been made against him, which might be forwarded on to the police.
They said: “Following further complaints made to the Whips Office, we will not be restoring the Whip to Julian Knight. These complaints, if appropriate, will be referred to the relevant police force, or appropriate bodies.”
Mr Knight said the latest twist and turn “smacks of desperate attempts to cover up the identities and motives”.
He said Met cops didn’t even interview him – and accused them of a “witch hunt”.
The MP, who formerly chaired the Commons Culture Committee, claimed the probe damaged his mental and physical health.
He added that the news was also causing “pain and distress to my loved ones”.
The ex-senior Tory vowed to continue work as an independent MP until a general election is called, which is expected to be in autumn next year.
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