British lawmaker Crispin Blunt arrested in connection with rape allegation

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmaker Crispin Blunt on Thursday said he had been arrested in connection with a rape allegation.

Blunt, 63, was elected as a member of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party for a constituency in southern England. He has been a Member of Parliament (MP) for more than 25 years and is due to stand down at the next election.

"It has been reported that an MP was arrested yesterday in connection with an allegation of rape. I am confirming that MP was me," he said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"I have now been interviewed twice in connection with this incident, the first time three weeks ago, when I initially reported my concern over extortion. The second time was earlier this morning under caution following arrest.

"The arrest was unnecessary as I remain ready to cooperate fully with the investigation that I am confident will end without charge," Blunt said.

Blunt has been suspended from the parliamentary Conservative Party and asked to stay away from parliament, a party source said.

Local police did not name Blunt. In a statement, they said a man in his sixties was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of rape and possession of controlled substances.

"He has been released on conditional police bail pending further enquiries," police said.

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar and Elizabeth Piper; editing by William James and Bill Berkrot)