Bromley Council is investigating after one of its councillors commented on a rape allegation, claiming it was “more likely” a prostitute whose client “didn’t pay”.
Conservative Councillor for St Mary Cray, Shaun Slater, made the comment on Twitter underneath a link to an online news story reporting an alleged rape in Plumstead, a screenshot shared online revealed.
The tweet has since been deleted.
Metropolitan Police confirmed that a woman attended a police station to report that she had been raped in the vicinity of Villas Road just before 4am on Friday December 30.
“There have been no arrests and enquiries are ongoing,” the Met said.
In response to the news story, on December 31, Mr Slater wrote: “More likely that it’s a punter that didn’t pay.”
But Metropolitan Police told the Standard there is no information to suggest the victim is a sex worker.
Mr Slater’s comment sparked widespread criticism online and has lead to an investigation.
A Bromley Council Spokesperson told the Standard: “We have received complaints relating to this matter which the Council will now investigate.”
Simon Jeal, Leader of Bromley Labour Group, said Mr Slater’s comment was “revolting” and the “entire” Labour Group was “digusted” by it.
He wrote on Twitter: “I will not share the revolting comments made by Cllr Shaun Slator, targeting an alleged rape victim on New Year’s Eve, but I and the entire [Bromley Labour Group] are disgusted by them.”
He added: “We call on the Conservative Group and Gareth Bacon MP to publicly and unequivocally condemn his comments and refer the matter to [the] standards committee for independent investigation.”
Mr Bacon, MP for Orpington, told the Standard: “I understand that Shaun Slator made an inappropriate comment on Twitter and that a formal complaint has been made to the Conservative Party.
“The Party takes these matters seriously and I believe an investigation will be undertaken. It would therefore be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.”
Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park in south-west London, said: “I expect the Conservative Party to suspend him without delay.
“These attitudes towards rape should not be tolerated anywhere in this country, and especially in our politics.
“For elected representatives to spout such offensive remarks on this crime really is shocking.”
Mr Slater declined to comment.