A Conservative aide has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in Parliament.
Sam Armstrong, chief of staff to Craig MacKinlay MP, attacked a woman in an office building just yards from the Commons after a drinking session on the House of Lords’ terrace, it is alleged.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed a 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of rape following an incident in the early hours of Friday.
Mr Armstrong is said to have been drinking with a group of Tory aides and female guests at the taxpayer-subsidised bar on the Parliamentary estate.
A woman then claimed she went with him to Mr Mackinlay’s parliamentary office in the nearby Norman Shaw North complex of the estate where she was raped.
Sam Armstrong (pictured right with David Cameron) is said to have been drinking with a group of Tory aides and female guests at the taxpayer-subsidised bar on the Parliamentary estate
The Houses of Parliament can be seen far left, the Portcullis Building is the dark building next to it. The Norman Shaw North Complex is the orange building on the right of that
The office of the MP for South Thanet, Kent, was raided by six uniformed officers on Friday and sealed as a crime scene, according to The Sun.
Speaking to the newspaper, a witness said: ‘There were a group of Tory advisers and female guests drinking there all night. Some were very drunk indeed.’
Sam Armstrong, chief of staff to Craig MacKinlay MP, has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in Parliament
Mr Armstrong is also described as Mr Mackinlay’s press representative and spokesperson.
He was drawn into the ‘Tatler Tory’ scandal last year, sparked by the suicide of Conservative activist Elliot Johnson, amid claims of bullying.
Mr Armstrong was also said to have attempted to blackmail a senior minister who was having an affair, by filming him leaving a club in London so he could use the footage to later gain political favours.
He denied the allegations and no further action was taken.
However, he was banned from last year’s Conservative Party conference along with two others while the claims were investigated.
Mr Armstrong, who has posed for pictures with former Prime Minister David Cameron, has been banned from entering the Parliamentary estate until further notice and has been released on police bail until January.
Police were called to the Palace of Westminster at around 1am on Friday after the alleged victim raised the alarm.
The Norman Shaw buildings on the Embankment by the Thames were the Metropolitan Police HQ before New Scotland Yard opened nearby in Westminster.
Mr Armstrong is chief of staff to to Craig MacKinlay (pictured), the MP for South Thanet, in Kent, who is aware of the arrest
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘Detectives from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command are investigating an allegation of rape at the Houses of Parliament in the early hours of Friday, October 14.
‘A 23-year-old man was arrested that same day on suspicion of rape.
‘He has been bailed pending further enquires to a date in mid-January 2017.’
A spokesperson for the House of Commons added: ‘We are aware of an incident on the parliamentary estate which is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service.
‘Parliament is working closely with the police on their investigation and we cannot comment further while this is ongoing.’
A spokesman at the office of Mr Mackinlay last night confirmed the MP was aware of the incident.
He said: ‘Craig was made aware of an allegations against a member of his staff and following a request from police and parliamentary officials, gave access to his office.
‘He is awaiting further information from the police before commenting further.’
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