Tory MP Julian Knight cleared by police after sexual assault claims

The chairman of the prestigious digital, culture, media and sport committee Julian Knight has been cleared to return to the Commons after the Metropolitan Police found him innocent of allegations which saw him suspended from the Conservative Party. Mr Knight had been absent from Parliament since December 7 when reports of allegations first emerged.

In a statement, senior Tory MP Julian Knight said: “The fact is that there was never anything for the police to investigate. This was a single, false and malicious allegation initially brought to them by third parties, each of whom had their own clear motives for doing so.

“In publicly naming me in connection with the allegation, the Conservative Whips Office acted disgracefully and in breach of natural justice by removing my anonymity. Their actions meant my name was dragged through the mud and my good reputation immeasurably damaged.

“The conduct of one person in the Whips Office, and the language used towards me, was particularly egregious.

“Had the police taken the simple step at outset of interviewing me under caution, they would have seen that the allegation was false and scandalous. Instead, they waited four months, without ever talking to me, before deciding there was nothing for them to investigate.

“I have been left effectively to prove my innocence through my public statements and letters to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the Chief Whip. That cannot be right.

“It is now my intention to use every legal route available to pursue those inside and outside Parliament involved in having this allegation brought against me.

“Meanwhile I look forward to the immediate return of the Conservative Whip so that I can again represent my constituents on behalf of the Party, as a member of which, they elected me.”

Mr Knight had always maintained his innocence saying he had “incontrovertible proof of my innocence as well as clear documentary evidence of a conspiracy to blackmail me using a false and malicious allegation”.

He also revealed an initial complaint was made on October 28.

But the length of the police inquiry caused increasing frustration and he penned a letter in February criticising the Metropolitan Police’s handling of his case.

In his February letter to the Met Commissioner, he said: “On that occasion, the allegation was made to police by a third party whose complaint did not, unsurprisingly, lead to the launch of any investigation.

“Two months on from the second – and unsuccessful – attempt to have any investigation started into the same false allegation against me, I am still being denied any opportunity to be interviewed under caution by your investigating officers. This is despite repeated requests from my lawyer for this to happen.”

He added: “The fact that I remain after two months a suspect without any chance to have his voice heard is due to the flawed and fundamentally unjust conduct of your officers’ investigation.

“Aside from the continuing damage to my reputation, it continues to deprive my constituents of proper Parliamentary representation

“I am aware that I am raising this at a time of considerable, and quite possibly unprecedented, reputational challenges to the Met.

“Notwithstanding, once this situation is resolved and my name is cleared, I do not intend to let the matter rest. Rather, I shall be pursuing all legal means to achieve proper redress for the flawed handling of this matter by all involved.”

A number of other MPs have been waiting for months for the police to conclude their cases into allegations.

MPs facing serious allegations are often advised to stay away from Parliament.

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