Conservative MP Mark Pritchard has called for a review of the law granting anonymity to rape accusers after police dropped an investigation into allegations against him.
Pritchard, who represents The Wrekin in Shropshire, was arrested last month after being accused of rape. However, on Tuesday morning Metropolitan police confirmed they would not be bringing charges against the politician.
The MP told reporters he had been in a fully consensual relationship with his accuser and claimed she made the "vindictive" accusation after he broke up with her.
Pritchard said his accuser is "single, well-educated, and in her mid-30s" and insisted it is unfair that she remains anonymous while his name is public.
"The law on anonymity does need to be reviewed and fairness does need to play a greater role in these cases," the MP told reporters.
It is currently illegal to name any individual who makes an accusation of rape or sexual assault, regardless of whether police believe the allegations.
Fellow Tory MP Nigel Evans called for a similar change in rape anonymity law after he was found not guilty of rape earlier in 2014.
Read Mark Pritchard's statement in full:
I am pleased to announce that I will face no further action relating to the false allegation made against me. The last few weeks have been a testing time. I'm glad it's all over. I would like to thank my solicitor David Osborne for his sound legal advice. I would also like to thank the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for their thoroughness, attention to detail, and professionalism.
Most of all I would like to thank my friends in and outside of Parliament and my constituents who have kindly emailed, telephones, and written to me offering their support. To be falsely accused of anything is an awful thing.
My accuser is single, well-educated, and in her mid-30s. For the record, I was in a full and consenting relationship with her. The evidence supported this. It was only when I ended the relationship she concocted her vindictive and outrageous story.
Sadly, as an MP sometimes you have a target on your back. Of course she remains anonymous.
The law on anonymity does need to be reviewed and fairness does need to play a greater role in these cases. I am now going to get on with serving my constituents.
Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at email@example.com.
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