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Friday, 10 August, 2001, 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK
Hamiltons quizzed over 'sex assault'
 Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine
Reports say the couple are being questioned by police
Former Tory MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine have been arrested following an allegation of serious sexual assault.

The arrest was made when the couple attended a London police station by appointment, BBC political correspondent Shaun Ley reported.

He said the couple were arrested following inquiries by Ilford CID.

They were taken to a central London police station where they were being questioned by officers.

A 52-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman attended a police station by appointment

Scotland Yard spokesman
The incident is alleged to have taken place in north London on 5 May.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "A 52-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman attended a police station by appointment today.

"They were arrested in connection with an allegation of serious sexual assault.

"They currently remain at the police station."

Man in sixties

Police said a man in his sixties was arrested as part of the same inquiry in June.

He was bailed until later this month.

No further details about the allegations were released.

The Hamiltons were last seen in public at the funeral of penal reformer Lord Longford at Westminster Cathedral in central London earlier on Friday.

'Cash for questions'

But the couple are no strangers to the media limelight.

The former MP was recently declared bankrupt after he lost a libel action against Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed over the so-called "cash for questions" affair.

Mr Hamilton had wanted to clear his name of accusations that he had accepted envelopes stuffed with cash from Mr Al Fayed in exchange for asking parliamentary questions.

He subsequently lost an appeal against the decision and is understood to owe about 3m in legal costs.

The allegations had also effectively ended his ministerial career.

Mr Hamilton had risen through the ranks of the Tory party after entering Parliament in 1983 as MP for Tatton.

But he lost his seat in the 1997 general election when the cash for questions scandal prompted former BBC correspondent Martin Bell to run against him on an anti-corruption ticket.

See also:

10 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Profile: Neil Hamilton
22 May 01 | UK
Hamilton declared bankrupt
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