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Former Union president and Tory MP candidate accused of sexual assault

A former Union president and Scottish Conservative parliamentary candidate has been accused of sexually assaulting another student while at Oxford.

Stuart Cullen, who denies the allegations, has now been suspended from the party, “subject to further inquiry”. Cullen, who studied at Christ Church between 2008-2011, was accused of sexual assault in an Instagram post as part of the #MeToo movement.

Cullen was Union president in Hilary 2010 and was the Scottish Conservative candidate for Glasgow North in this year’s general election. The Scottish Conservatives have suspended Cullen “with immediate effect” and have launched an inquiry following the allegations.

The alleged victim, who has asked not to be named, claimed that Cullen sexually assaulted her whilst she was in her first term at the University.

According to the woman, at the time she “was 18, naive, less than a term into university, and lacking in a robust support network”. Despite saying it was a “difficult post to write”, she was inspired to come forward after increased media coverage of sexual violence in Westminster.

Cullen’s lawyers have said he denies the allegations, which he considers to be false and defamatory.

In her post, she said: “I never reported him, even after he sent me a message a day or so later saying he should have been ‘kicked out of college for what I [he] did’.”

She went on to say: “I didn’t call bullshit at the time but I do now, partly because he’ll probably be given a safe seat to run for in the next election. #MeToo”

The #MeToo hashtag spread on social media in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal last month. The hashtag has been tweeted more than half a million times and is used
by victims of sexual assault and harassment to indicate the extent of the problem of sexual violence.

In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives said: “We take allegations like these extremely seriously. Mr Cullen has been suspended with
immediate effect, subject to further inquiry.

“We would encourage anyone to report such allegations to the police.”

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