• Top member of Britain’s Conservatives held over rape claim

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    A top member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party has been arrested on suspicion of raping a teenage girl, British police said on Saturday.

    Party vice-chairman Alan Lewis, 75, was arrested in London on Friday after a woman claimed he raped her in the 1960s in the city of Manchester, northwest England, police said.

    Lewis, a self-made tycoon who has earned millions through his luxury clothing chain Crombie, was appointed vice-chairman by Cameron in 2010 and has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to British business.

    “A 75-year-old man was arrested following a complaint received earlier this year of an historic rape that occurred in the Manchester area in the late 60s,” said a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police.

    “The man was later bailed pending further inquiries. Specially-trained officers are providing support and welfare to the victim.”

    The arrest comes just ahead of the Conservatives’ annual party conference in Manchester, which runs from Sunday until next Wednesday. AFP

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