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No action over Tory vice-chair Alan Lewis rape claim

A senior Tory official who as arrested over allegations he raped a teenage girl in the 1960s will not face any further action after prosecutors concluded there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

Alan Lewis, 75, a Conservative Party vice chairman who had maintained his innocence throughout the investigation, said he was "immensely thankful" for the support her had received since his arrest in September. A CPS spokesperson said:

The CPS has carefully considered the evidence gathered by Greater Manchester Police in relation to their investigations into an allegation of rape in the Manchester area in 1967. A 75-year-old man was arrested in September in connection with the allegation.

We have concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to the allegation and have advised Greater Manchester Police that no further action should be taken.

The complainant has been informed of the decision and we will be meeting her to provide an explanation.

The self-made tycoon was appointed as vice chairman of the Conservatives by David Cameron, who gave him responsibility for the party's relations with business.

Senior Tories launch gay marriage campaign group

Senior Tories including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have defied party traditionalists by launching a group to campaign for gay marriage.

The London mayor and Education Secretary are among more than a dozen senior figures backing moves to allow same-sex weddings to be held in places of worship.

The issue has sparked a serious rift in the Conservative Party, with more than 100 of its MPs expected to oppose the change in the Commons next year.

Some have criticised David Cameron for "arrogance" in pushing ahead with the plans, despite his promise of a free vote.