Ex Sussex MP wins damages

24 September 2010, 11:40 | Updated: 24 September 2010, 11:43

A former MP has been paid undisclosed damages from police following his arrest on suspicion of assaulting two teenage children, he revealed today.

Nigel Waterson, 59, ex-Tory MP for Eastbourne in East Sussex, was detained by officers at about midnight on January 27, 2008, at his home in south east London.

He was freed on bail but was later informed no further action would be taken against him.

Today he disclosed he had received a letter of apology from the Metropolitan Police, which accepted the allegations against him were ``wholly unfounded''.

In a statement, Mr Waterson said: ``I welcome the apology from the Metropolitan Police. They now accept that there was no basis for my arrest.

``I have always been a great supporter of our police. But this sort of incident can undermine the public's faith in them, especially as at the time my arrest was leaked to the media.

``My family and I can now put this distressed episode behind us.''

In his letter to Mr Waterson, Detective Chief Inspector Adrian Baxter, from the force's directorate of professional standards department, apologised for any distress caused to him.

The letter, dated August 2 this year, said: ``Mr Nigel Waterson was arrested at his London home on the evening of the 27th January 2008.

``As a result of subsequent inquiries, and in hindsight, the MPS accepts that Mr Waterson had done nothing wrong and had the full facts been available at the time, then Mr Waterson would not have been arrested.

``The MPS accepts that the allegations against him were wholly unfounded. The MPS would like to apologise for any distress caused.

``The MPS has also agreed to pay undisclosed damages and costs.''

A police spokesman said today: ``The MPS has settled a civil claim brought by Nigel Waterson for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment on January 27, 2008.

``The MPS has not admitted liability. We consider the matter to be concluded.''

Mr Waterson, a solicitor, was first elected MP for Eastbourne in 1992 but was defeated by Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd at this year's general election.