Wayne Couzens was a guard at the House of Commons on multiple occasions before he raped and murdered Sarah Everard, it has been revealed.
The police officer – who was nicknamed ‘The Rapist’ by colleagues – performed duties in the Houses of Parliament at least five times.
He had a known history of sexual deviance prior to his time on the parliamentary estate.
The 48-year-old was even issued with an ‘access-all-areas’ pass, one senior parliamentary source told The Times, who first reported on the story.
It also emerged on Saturday evening that Couzens – who has been told he will never be released from prison – received up to £10,000 from the Met Police in pay during the four months after his arrest.
Kent Messenger / SWNS)
He was not officially sacked by the force until mid-July after he pleaded guilty to raping and killing 33-year-old Sarah.
Couzens joined the Met’s elite parliamentary and diplomatic protection command in 2020 with very little or no additional vetting.
The Met previously refused to discuss his Westminster posting and had said last week his ‘primary role was to patrol diplomatic premises’.
But after inquiries by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, a Met spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday: “Couzens was deployed to armed static protection duties on the Parliamentary Estate on five occasions from February to July 2020.”
The shocking revelation has sparked fury among MPs.
Hoyle said he was ‘extremely concerned’ and would be speaking to under-fire Met chief Dame Cressida Dick.
He told The Times: “I have asked the Met to meet me urgently to discuss how this person could have been deemed suitable for deployment here. Further, I will be seeking reassurance that at no time was anyone on the parliamentary estate put at risk.”
Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who has been the subject of online abuse and threats due to her trans views, said: “It’s chilling that someone whose nickname was ‘the Rapist’ was guarding MPs when we are told that we are protected by a ring of steel.”
She also called on Parliament to hold a security review to ensure it does not happen again.
One senior parliamentary source, speaking in The Times, accused the Met of deliberately trying to ‘mislead’ authorities by claiming Couzens did not have a parliamentary pass.
Meanwhile Scotland Yard has come under fire for the fact Couzens still received a salary following his March arrest.
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The Met claims it was bound by law to keep paying him until he pleaded guilty, after which he was sacked following a misconduct hearing.
But a government source said Home Office lawyers determined his estimated £33,000-a-year salary could have been withheld once he was arrested and charged.
It is not clear if he will be asked to pay back the earnings accrued while he sat in a jail cell in Belmarsh.