(NewsNation) — British politicians are calling for investigations into the allegations women made in a documentary as well as The Times of London and Sunday Times newspapers that comedian Russell Brand sexually assaulted them.
The news outlets said that one woman alleged she had been raped, while three others accused Brand of sexual assault. One of the women also said he had been physically and emotionally abusive.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said it’s “right that this is looked into.”
“These are very serious and concerning allegations,” Max Blain said, according to Sky News. “The prime minister has been clear there should never be any space for harassment, regardless of where it is found.”
The Guardian reports Caroline Nokes, a member of Britain’s Parliament who serves as chair of the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, called the allegations “incredibly shocking and criminal.”
“I would very much hope that complaints will be made both to the Metropolitan police and indeed in the States,” Nokes told BBC Radio. “This merits and needs a criminal investigation, because for too long we have seen men — and the perpetrators of these sorts of crimes are almost invariably men — not being held to account for their behaviors and their actions.”
Another MP, Laura Trott, said on LBC radio that “everybody needs to do better.”
“I think no woman reading the allegations that were all over the place this weekend could do anything other than shudder,” she said, according to The Guardian. “It’s horrific. I pay absolute tribute to the women who’ve come forward and also the journalists that have pursued this, the editors who’ve allowed them to do that, the investment that’s been put in place and the huge legal risk that’s taken for stories such as these.”
Trott pleaded to anyone who’s had similar experiences “to come forward and report them to the police.”
When asked about the situation, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in an interview with the BBC that there are some “real challenges where you have these very very acute differentials in power” especially in the entertainment industry or politics.
“We have to be particularly careful when we listen to the voices of the people who are relatively powerless because we, I think, collectively have missed opportunities to do the right thing,” Cleverly said.
Since the initial allegations were reported by the media, London’s Metropolitan Police Force has said it received “a report of a sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003.” While police did not identify the alleged perpetrator as Brand, they referred to the newspaper and TV allegations in its statement.
Promoters postponed the remaining dates in a string of live gigs by the comedian, while a talent agency, as well as a publisher, have also parted company with Brand over the claims, which he has denied.
In a video statement released Friday ahead of the articles coming out, Brand said that his relationships were “always consensual.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.