A Suffolk Tory MP who apologised after receiving a police caution for a domestic assault has been referred by the party to chief whip Michael Gove, a Conservative source has confirmed.
Former shadow police minister David Ruffley revealed in a statement that he had apologised to his former partner in relation to the incident in March, which led to him accepting a caution for common assault.
He said the woman had accepted his apology and stressed that he did not condone domestic violence "under any circumstances".
It is understood that Mr Gove wants to establish exactly what happened. He has the power to strip MPs of the party whip at Westminster if wrongdoing is found.
The party had previously responded to queries about the assault by saying that the issue "was dealt with at the time by the police", and the decision to refer Mr Ruffley to the chief whip for investigation was being seen in Westminster as a significant development.
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