WOMEN'S charities have hit out at the Tories for refusing to suspend a party MP reportedly under investigation over rape allegations.

The TUC, Women’s Aid, the Fawcett Society, the Centenary Action Group and the biggest trade unions representing staff in parliament — Prospect, Unite, PCS and the FDA — said the party is “minimising violence against women and girls”.

On Sunday, Labour branded the decision not to kick the MP out of the party “shocking” but a spokesman for Government chief whip Mark Spencer said he wanted to await the conclusion of the police inquiry.

The former minister, who has not been named, is alleged to have assaulted a woman and forced her to have sex, the Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday said.

The abuse is alleged to have taken place during a relationship.

READ MORE: Tories refuse to suspend rape-accused MP before police probe

The group of campaigners said in a joint statement: “Given the seriousness of the allegations we’re calling for the MP to be suspended pending a full investigation.

“The House of Commons should be no different from any other workplace. Safety and the safeguarding of staff must be paramount. Failure to suspend is yet another example of minimising violence against women and girls and failure to believe victims and survivors when they bravely speak out.”

The groups say they are not confident that Westminster is a safe and equal place for women to work.

A House of Commons spokeswoman said: “While we cannot comment on specific cases or allegations, sexual harassment has no place in the House of Commons. We take the safety of our staff seriously and are ensuring that any necessary measures are taken in respect of our employees.”

The women's groups called for political parties to make their systems for dealing with complaints publicly available

One former government adviser told The Times that the party’s handling of the matter risked undermining progress made under the current administration and that of Theresa May on tackling domestic abuse.

She said: “Clean up your own house first and lead by example. And perhaps get some women around the top table. They have good intentions in domestic abuse and related policy areas but have work to do to offset the optics that this is a government by lads, for lads."

Shadow safeguarding minister Jess Phillips criticised the Tories for failing to suspend the whip from the MP, which would effectively eject him from the party.

The Labour MP told Times Radio it sent a “terrible message” that senior figures were still able to secure “protection” with their Westminster status.

She added: “While pending a police investigation for a sexual crime, I think it is only right that the whip is withdrawn.”

But a spokesman for Spencer said: “These are serious allegations and it is right that they are investigated fully.

“The whip has not been suspended. This decision will be reviewed once the police investigation has been concluded.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said he did not know the name of the MP involved, but added that he was “confident” the party was taking the matter seriously.

“I’ve read the accusations in the newspapers this morning but I don’t know more than you do in that respect,” the Cabinet minister told Times Radio.

“These are very serious allegations and they should be investigated. They’re in the hands of the police, so I don’t think I can comment any more than that.”

Asked whether he wanted to see the Tory whip removed from the MP, Jenrick said: “We need to take allegations of this nature very seriously and I’m confident that the party is, and will do.”