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Tory leader’s friend faces assault rap

PUBLISHED: 14:01 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:30 01 July 2010

THE Conservatives have nose-dived into yet another scandal as police arrested a senior MP on suspicion of assaulting two children. Close friend of David Cameron and MP for Eastbourne, Nigel Waterson, called the police himself to his Beckenham home in the

THE Conservatives have nose-dived into yet another scandal as police arrested a senior MP on suspicion of assaulting two children.

Close friend of David Cameron and MP for Eastbourne, Nigel Waterson, called the police himself to his Beckenham home in the early hours of Monday morning.

But the trained lawyer, 58, was led from his house in handcuffs and questioned by police for more than 13 hours after two teenagers made an allegation of assault.

He was later bailed and is due to return for further questioning by police in March.

Police said the victims, a boy and a girl in their early to mid teens, did not need hospital treatment and the assault was not of a sexual nature.

Mr Waterson was not available to comment and his office telephone number was temporarily out of order.

An investigation is now being carried out by the Child Abuse Investigation Team.

A spokesman at the Conservative headquarters said: "This is a very sensitive issue and we are not planning on making a comment."

A spokesman for Bromley Police said: "The assault was not of a sexual nature."

It is the latest blow in an unhinged week for the party which has already been left red-faced by MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, Derek Conway, who was found to have misused his staffing allowance.

Mr Conway was dismissed as a party whip and forced to apologise to the House of Commons on Tuesday for paying his son Freddie "excessively" as a research assistant while he was at university in Newcastle.

Allegations that he employed his other son Henry are being investigated.

A spokesman for David Cameron refused to comment on the damaging antics of the two senior MPs.

Mr Waterson became an MP in 1992. He is shadow pensions minister and shadow minister for older people in addition to his role as MP for Eastbourne, Willingdon and East Dean.

His work as an MP has included a campaign to save the maternity unit at Eastbourne District General Hospital and he is currently campaigning for a referendum on the European Union.

He is also the patron of a number of charities, including the Multiple Sclerosis Society and is vice president of Age Concern Eastbourne.

Katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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