MP's aide claims sex with teenage staffer was 'consensual'

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Houses of Parliament
Image caption,
Callum Warren was working as a researcher for Kingswood Conservative MP Chris Skidmore at the time

An MP's aide accused of sexually assaulting a teenage parliamentary staffer claims they previously had consensual sex.

Callum Warren, 27, denies assaulting the girl in Westminster in 2017, when she was 17.

He was working as a researcher for Kingswood Conservative MP Chris Skidmore at the time.

Southwark Crown Court was told she had previously "flirted" with him by touching his leg and holding his hand.

Mr Warren denies two counts of sexual assault in January and June 2017, and one count of sexual assault and one of assault by penetration in July 2017.

The former aide, from Bristol, said the first two allegations never happened and says the final incident only involved kissing and was consensual.

'Heavy drinking'

The first incident allegedly took place in a ladies toilet on the Westminster Estate, while the second is said to have happened after the Conservative Party's 2017 election win in June.

Mr Warren is also accused of trying to kiss the complainant as they walked through an underpass after a night of heavy drinking.

On a third occasion in July 2017, he allegedly forced her against the door of Mr Skidmore's office to kiss her, before shoving her into a chair and pushing his hand between her legs.

Mr Warren told the jury he and the girl had been drinking at a lobbying event when they headed back to the office and she began kissing him.

He said that they had previously had sex in the same office after another night of drinking in parliamentary bars, and said he had "no doubt at all" she consented.

He told the jury: "I said, 'are you sure you want to do this here?' Meaning it's in the office and at around that time cleaners come past, in and out of the offices. She just said, 'yes'."

The trial continues.

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