MEMBERS of a Basingstoke political party dressed as pest controllers in a protest outside parliament.

The Women’s Equality Party Basingstoke donned hazmat suits as ‘Pestminster Control’ following the news that an unnamed Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

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The MP, who was arrested on Tuesday for allegations of offences spanning seven years between 2002 and 2009, has not been suspended by the Conservative party.

The man, in his 50s, has been asked by chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris, to stay away from parliament.

Campaigners from WE Basingstoke, including branch leader Stacy Hart, lined the entrance to parliament to highlight the ‘appalling’ number of MPs facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

Launching the action just ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions, activists handed out leaflets which read ‘WANTED – have you seen this MP? Last seen in parliament. Beware, alleged rapist making laws’.

Basingstoke Gazette:

The picture on the leaflet was left blank to highlight the fact that the alleged rapist could be any number of MPs and WE said this puts ‘people at risk’.

Stacy, election candidate for Hatch Warren and Beggarwood, said: “The fact that an MP accused of rape has been allowed to continue in his job for two years while this investigation was carried out, shows just how broken the system is. In that time, he will have been able to meet with potentially vulnerable constituents and vote on the domestic abuse bill. It’s an outrage.

“There are currently more MPs under investigation for sexual misconduct in parliament than there are representing Wales. How long has the Prime Minister known about these latest allegations and why has the MP involved not been suspended pending completion of an investigation?

“The Women’s Equality Party will not stop campaigning until those in power accused of abuse, misconduct or harassment are held to account, and we will continue the fight here in Basingstoke with initiatives like our White Ribbon and Licensing campaigns.”

The party is demanding that MPs under investigation by the ICGS (Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme) should be made public, unless doing so would reveal the identity of the complainant.

They are also calling for MPs under investigation by ICGS or the police for violence to be suspended from all duties and banned from Westminster until investigations conclude.

The party is asking for additional resources to be made available to deliver a dramatic reduction in the length of time that ICGS investigations take.

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