Mark Pritchard has been arrested after a rape allegation. Photo: YouTube screengrab
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Tory MP Mark Pritchard has been arrested on suspicion of rape

The Conservative MP Mark Pritchard has been arrested following an allegation of rape.

The Conservative MP for the Wrekin, Mark Pritchard, has been arrested following an allegation of rape.

Sky is reporting that the MP was arrested and questioned by police on Tuesday on suspicion of rape, and has been released on bail.

Here is the Metropolitan Police statement:

We can confirm that a 48-year-old man voluntarily attended a north London police station on Tuesday, 2 December where he was arrested, following an allegation of rape in central London.

He has been bailed to a date in early January 2015 pending further enquiries.

There is a mention of his arrest from yesterday's parliamentary business paper. Here's what it says:

4 Arrest of a Member

Copy of a letter addressed to the Speaker, dated 3 December 2014, from the Metropolitan
Police, relating to the arrest of Mark Pritchard, Member for The Wrekin (The Speaker). 

The Huffington Post has a letter from Met officer Sandra Looby addressed to the Speaker, John Bercow:

I write to inform you that on December 2 Mark Pritchard MP was arrested at 6.14pm at Holborn Police Station in London by Metropolitan Police Service officers.

Mr Pritchard was questioned by police and released on police bail later the same evening at 10.16pm.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.

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The Brexit elite want to make trade great again – but there’s a catch

The most likely trade partners will want something in return. And it could be awkward. 

Make trade great again! That's an often overlooked priority of Britain's Brexit elite, who believe that by freeing the United Kingdom from the desiccated hand of the European bureaucracy they can strike trade deals with the rest of the world.

That's why Liam Fox, the Trade Secretary, is feeling particularly proud of himself this morning, and has written an article for the Telegraph about all the deals that he is doing the preparatory work for. "Britain embarks on trade crusade" is that paper's splash.

The informal talks involve Norway, New Zealand, and the Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic alliance of Middle Eastern countries, including Kuwait, the UAE and our friends the Saudis.

Elsewhere, much symbolic importance has been added to a quick deal with the United States, with Theresa May saying that we were "front of the queue" with President-Elect Donald Trump in her speech this week. 

As far as Trump is concerned, the incoming administration seems to see it differently: Wilbur Ross, his Commerce Secretary, yesterday told Congress that the first priority is to re-negotiate the Nafta deal with their nearest neighbours, Canada and Mexico.

In terms of judging whether or not Brexit is a success or not, let's be clear: if the metric for success is striking a trade deal with a Trump administration that believes that every trade deal the United States has struck has been too good on the other party to the deal, Brexit will be a failure.

There is much more potential for a genuine post-Brexit deal with the other nations of the English-speaking world. But there's something to watch here, too: there is plenty of scope for trade deals with the emerging powers in the Brics - Brazil, India, etc. etc.

But what there isn't is scope for a deal that won't involve the handing out of many more visas to those countries, particularly India, than we do currently.

Downing Street sees the success of Brexit on hinging on trade and immigration. But political success on the latter may hobble any hope of making a decent go of the former. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.