The Scottish Conservative MP Ross Thomson has denied allegations that he sexually assaulted men in the House of Commons, and referred himself to his party’s disciplinary panel.
The Metropolitan police confirmed on Wednesday they had been called to the bar following complaints of “sexual touching”, while the serjeant at arms, who oversees security in the Commons, was also informed.
“Officers attended and spoke to the parties involved – three men in their 20s and 30s. However, no formal allegations were made to the officers and no arrests were made,” the police said.
Senior Tories were dismayed by the allegations. Jackson Carlaw, the interim party leader in Scotland, told reporters at Holyrood: “Inquiries are ongoing. However, I know enough to say the alleged behaviour is completely unacceptable and falls well below the standard I think any of us would expect of any elected representative.”
Thomson, the MP for Aberdeen South, has robustly denied claims he assaulted anyone and said in a statement released on Twitter on Friday: “I would like to state that these allegations from anonymous sources are completely false.”
He said there had been no complaints against him to the police, his party or the Westminster authorities. “Nevertheless, in the interests of openness and transparency, I am referring myself to the Conservative party’s disciplinary panel of the code of conduct,” Thomson said.
“This has been a deeply distressing time for me and my family, but I intend to be back at work on Monday.”
Lurid accounts of what allegedly happened in the bar have been circulating since the incident, including claims Thomson was extremely drunk and had been asked to leave several times. Senior unnamed Tories said they feared he was stressed because of Brexit. Unlike most Scottish Tory parliamentarians, Thomson is an ardent Brexiter.
The Times reported on Friday that Thomson had vehemently denied the allegations, and quoted other witnesses who said he had been touching other people’s bottoms in an effort to remain standing after drinking for five hours.
Under the Tories’ disciplinary code, Thomson will need to give a statement and will face an inquiry by at least three people appointed by the party chairman. Past investigations have included lawyers as well as lay party members.
The panel’s findings are then presented to the party chairman, the UK party leader or the party’s board.