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Conservative MP Under Investigation for Alleged Sexual Offences Turned Up ‘Unannounced’ to Anti-Harassment Stall for Photo Op

Andrew Rosindell, the Romford Conservative MP currently on bail for alleged sexual offences which he strongly denies, made an unannounced appearance at a White Ribbon day event – drawing criticism from community members and a debate over his ongoing public engagements.

Andrew Rosindell MP talks to the press at the Conservative Party conference in 2019. Photo: PA Images / Alamy

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An MP under investigation for alleged rape and other sexual offences showed up to a stall in his constituency commemorating victims of sexual violence, without notifying the organiser beforehand, Byline Times has learned. 

On November 29, Andrew Rosindell MP – who maintains the Conservative whip and vigorously denies any illegality – appeared at a ‘White Ribbon day’ anti-harassment stall in his borough of Havering, apparently without prior notice. He attended with police officers from his constituency and shared a photo standing with the organiser on his social media feeds.

Byline Times understands the organiser of the stall – from local anti-violence against women (VAWG) group Walk It Out – did not know who he was or that he was under police investigation when he posed for the unplanned photo. Walk It Out describes itself as “an organisation committed to tackling violence against women and enhancing the voice of the community.” 

Its founder and stall organiser April Mehmet became concerned after women’s rights activists pointed out the allegations against the MP, and some questioned the community organisation itself for its judgement. One responded on social media: “No excuse” while another wrote: “Shameful.”

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After Rosindell shared the photo – which met with a backlash from some women’s groups – Walk It Out put out an online statement suggesting that they weren’t aware of the allegations, writing on Twitter/X: “I have been made aware of allegations against an MP who attended our 1st day of activism for #whiteribbonday in Havering. Walk It Out does not condone violence against anyone!” 

Romford Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell is currently on bail but has not been charged for any offences, having been under investigation by the Metropolitan Police since January 2020. He was formally arrested and released under investigation in May last year.  

The right-winger, who has been an MP since 2001, hasn’t spoken or voted in Parliament since April 2022. It is thought that he has been asked to stay away from Parliament, though he continues to hold constituency events, including at least one recently with London mayoral candidate Susan Hall. 

Rosindell has also been reselected by members as the Conservative candidate for his East London seat of Romford. The Sunday Times reported that members were not made aware of the allegations against him, which he denies. 

A spokesperson for the Met Police told Byline Times previously: “In January 2020, the Met received a report relating to alleged sexual offences having been committed between 2002 and 2009. The offences are alleged to have occurred in London.

EXCLUSIVE

Founder of Whistle-Blowing Charity Responds to Complainant by ‘Passing on’ Her Name and Suggesting She Calls Friend of Alleged Abuser

A prominent women’s rights activist complained about a “defender” of an alleged abuser sitting on the board of a whistleblowing charity. The reply she got blew her away.

“An investigation is ongoing, led by officers from Central Specialist Crime. A man, aged in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office.

“He was taken into custody and later bailed pending further enquiries to a date in mid-May 2023 and later bailed to a date in mid-August. An extension to his bail was sought at magistrates court. This was granted and he now returns on a date in mid-February 2024. Enquiries remain ongoing.”

A source close to Anderw Rosindell said he would not comment on the constituency engagement or the police investigation, adding: “Mr. Rosindell’s legal team is actively collecting information related to public defamation…

“Mr. Rosindell had not been charged or found to be guilty of any crime. It’s important to note that disclosing Mr. Rosindell’s name would violate the anonymity granted to him, and any such publication will prompt action from his legal team.”

Walk It Out founder April Mehmet told Byline Times: “We focus on improving women’s safety and building women and community relationships to tackle violence…White ribbon day is an international campaign of 16 days of activism to talk to men and women in the community to make a promise to never ignore male violence against women and we will continue to do that every year. 

“We could be talking to anyone in the community not knowing their background but we will continue to be the voice for women.” 

The news comes as unions welcomed updated proposals from the House of Commons Commission on a “risk-based exclusion policy” for MPs accused of crimes. 

FDA union National Officer for the House of Commons Jawad Raza said: “Today’s announcement on risk-based exclusion represents a significant victory for the FDA and our fellow trade unions. We have long campaigned to ensure that Parliament, like any other workplace, is a safe place to work for our members.

“For too long, Parliament’s reputation has been tarnished, and the confidence and trust of House staff undermined, by the stream of allegations of sexual misconduct. Not having a mechanism to prevent those who have been arrested for serious sexual offences from attending the Parliamentary Estate is unacceptable and out of line with every other workplace.”

The union is calling for a new protocol for parties to notify Parliament when a complaint of alleged sexual misconduct is made against a Member of Parliament.

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