Police in Essex have dropped an investigation into MP Julian Knight following allegations of serious sexual assault.

Mr Knight, the MP for Solihull, lost the Conservative whip in December 2022 after it was revealed he was being investigated by the Metropolitan Police over the allegation.

That investigation was abandoned by the force last year, but the allegation was referred to Essex Police for reasons which remain unclear.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Knight, who had always denied the allegations, said that second investigation had now also been closed.

Echo: Solihull MP Julian KnightSolihull MP Julian Knight

He said: “I have been told that the second police investigation into me has been closed without an arrest.

“I am now exploring my legal options following the complaint I have made to the Metropolitan Police relating to fraud, forgery and perverting the course of justice.

“I wish to thank my wife and my wonderful parliamentary team for their support during this time.

“I will be taking a little time now to choose my next steps and recover my mental health.”

After the Metropolitan Police closed its investigation in April 2023, Mr Knight sought the return of the Conservative whip, but the party refused his request claiming “further complaints” had been made to the Whips’ Office.

Mr Knight accused the party of conducting a “witch hunt” and said he would not be seeking the return of the whip and would leave Parliament at the next election.

On Thursday, Mr Knight reiterated that he would “under no circumstances” seek the return of the Conservative whip.

The news follows the Met’s decision to drop an investigation into Conservative MP for Romford Andrew Rosindell, who had faced allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Scotland Yard said that, following a “thorough investigation”, the evidence for a criminal prosecution had not been met.

Essex Police said in a statement: “A man who had been voluntarily interviewed in connection with an investigation into allegations of serious sexual assault has been told he faces no further criminal action.

“The investigation related to alleged incidents outside of Essex which are non-recent. We carried out thorough enquiries and supported a number of people who came forward, including offering the support of an independent sexual violence advisor (ISVA).

"ISVAs provide support and counselling, and guide people through the investigative process, and support them at court.

“Following our investigation, it was determined allegations of sexual offences did not meet the full code test for a charging decision. We have liaised with the Crown Prosecution throughout.

“A file was presented to the CPS relating to other, non-sexual, offences. After receiving advice from the CPS, the senior investigating officer decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed. As such the man has been told he faces no further criminal action.”