‘Victim’ said she was taken to MP Craig Mackinlay’s office just yards from the Commons in the early hours of Friday and attacked
A TORY MP’s aide has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in Parliament.
The alleged victim claims she was attacked by Sam Armstrong, chief of staff to Craig Mackinlay.
She has told detectives she went with Mr Armstrong, 23, to MP Mackinlay’s office just yards from the Commons and was raped in the early hours of Friday.
Police have confirmed Mr Armstrong, has been arrested on suspicion of rape. He was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Mr Mackinlay declined to comment.
The alleged rape came after Tory aides and female guests were seen drinking heavily on the House of Lords’ terrace until late on Thursday night, sources say.
The luxury Thames-side bar is subsidised by the taxpayer and is a popular watering hole for MPs, staff and guests.
A witness said: “There were a group of Tory advisers and female guests drinking there all night. Some were very drunk indeed.”
Police yesterday confirmed that 23-year-old Mr Armstrong, Mackinlay’s chief of staff and press spokesman, had been arrested on suspicion of rape.
The South Thanet MP’s office in the Norman Shaw North complex yards from the Commons was raided by six uniformed officers on Friday and sealed as a potential crime scene.
Mr Armstrong has been bailed until January while the police continue their inquiries.
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He has also been banned from entering the Parliamentary Estate until further notice.
Mr Mackinlay declined to comment but sources said he was in his constituency at the time of the alleged attack.
It is believed to be the first time a woman has reported rape within the Houses of Parliament.
Police were called to the Palace of Westminster at around 1am on Friday after the alleged victim raised the alarm.
Mr Armstrong hit the headlines last year after being named among a group of young Conservatives in the “Tatler Tory” bullying scandal, triggered by the suicide of 21-year-old activist Elliott Johnson.
He was barred from last year’s Conservative Party Conference while party bosses investigated claims that Tory MP Rob Halfon had been filmed leaving a nightclub with his mistress as part of a failed blackmail plot.
Mr Armstrong denied any wrongdoing and no further action was taken. He said at the time: “I have denied these unsubstantiated, anonymous, and untrue allegations since their conception.”
He was unavailable for comment last night.
A Met 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, 14 October.
“A 23-year-old man was arrested the same day on suspicion of rape.”
The Commons Serjeant at Arms office, which oversees Parliamentary security, said that it was aware of the allegation.
It added: “We are working closely with the Metropolitan Police on the matter but cannot comment further at this time.”
The Norman Shaw buildings on the Embankment were previously the Met Police HQ.
They now house MPs’ offices and are connected by corridors to Parliamentary office buildings such as Portcullis House and are a short walk from the Commons.