A woman who reported a rape case to the Commons has accused Andrea Leadsom of ignoring her allegations and not taking concerns over the ‘toxic’ culture of Westminster seriously.
The victim, an ex-Tory activist who remains anonymous claims that she was raped by someone who worked for a Conservative MP. The rape did not take place in Parliament but in the victim’s home and was so violent that she states:
“…during the attack. I remember the room disappearing around me and thinking I was going to die.”
The following morning she went to the police and reported the incident. It was as she waited for a trial date that she decided to report the incident to Commons officials. She had a 25 minute conversation with House of Commons clerk David Natzler. The victim claims that she left the meeting under the impression that her concerns over the culture within Westminster would be passed on to the then chief whip, Gavin Williamson and Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom and that a meeting with either would follow.
But the victim states:
"I never received contact from either of them. The parliamentary authorities never followed it up with me either. I heard nothing.”
The clerk allegedly did pass on the concerns but it was decided by Leadsom and the clerk that due to the ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to take any further action. Williamson maintains that no such claims were presented to him.
The man accused, who was not an MP but worked for a Conservative MP, denies the rape allegations and the case was later dropped after a review of the evidence.
The clerk confirmed that the conversation with the victim took place but insists that the allegations were not the focus of their conversation because the incident did not occur on the Parliamentary Estate nor was the victim employed on the estate.
“There was no question of formally 'referring' the allegations to other House authorities as there was already a criminal case under way.” The clerk said.
The victim argues that her concerns were taken very seriously by the clerk and remains disappointed that her allegations were not taken seriously by the Commons.
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