Arrested MP Craig Whittaker says it’s business as usual

Craig Whittaker.
Craig Whittaker.
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Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker says he will be carry out Parliamentary duties as usual today – despite being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his son.

The Conservative politician was questioned by police investigating an attack at the Co-op petrol station in Mytholmroyd at 10.30pm on Boxing Day.

The MP has been released on bail pending further inquiries. The allegation is thought to have been made after the MP drove his son, 24-year-old Lee, to his home in Manchester.

Mr Whittaker said: “The police have made me aware of allegations and I have made a full statement to the police.”

He said in light of the police investigation, there was nothing else he could say.

He added that he would be carrying out his MP’s duties as usual. The 49-year-old, who became MP for the Calder Valley in 2010, lives in Fixby and has three children and two step-children.

Yesterday he was in London, sitting on the Education Select Committee in Westminster and attending Prime Minister’s Questions as well as a debate led by Halifax MP on Linda Riordan about unemployment.

He is due to hold a surgery in Halifax town centre tomorrow between noon and 2pm.

A spokeswoman from West Yorkshire Police said; “The police can confirm we are investigation an allegation of assault at a service station on Burnley Road in Mytholmroyd.

“A 49-year-old man was arrested and has been released on bail pending further inquiries and consultation with the CPS.”

Staff at the petrol station said it was closed at the time of the alleged incident and they only heard about it yesterday.

A spokesman for the Conservative Party said: “It would be inappropriate to comment at this time due to the ongoing police investigation.”

Mr Whittaker was born in Bury, Lancashire, in 1962,

At the age of five he emigrated to Australia with his parents and returned to England in 1984.

In 1998, he began his political career by being co-opted onto Heptonstall Parish Council and at the time lived in the village at Hepton Drive.

He was a governor at the village school and member of Heptonstall Village Millennium Committee.

He later moved to Rastrick and was elected to Calderdale Council.

Mr Whittaker was the council’s cabinet spokesman for children and young peoples services.

He was held partly responsible for the council’s lamentable record on children’s safeguarding procedures.

In 2007, Mr Whittaker was chosen as the Conservative candidate for Calder Valley and became the constituency MP in the 2010 election with a 6,000-vote majority.

He resigned his Rastrick ward seat on the council in May last year.

Mr Whittaker is a former chairman of the Brighouse Regeneration Forum.

A former computer store manager, he married for the second time last year.w