Former Wisbech mayor Cllr Aigars Balsevics has been charged with rape.

He appeared before magistrates in Peterborough today (Friday) accused of raping a woman in Wisbech.

The charge alleges he raped the woman at an address in the town in May, 2021.

Balsevics, 41, spoke briefly during the five-minute hearing to confirm his name, age and address.

District Judge Ken Sheraton remanded Balsevics on bail to appear before Cambridge Crown Court on Friday, February 11.

Balsevics, of Burcroft Road, Wisbech, was suspended from the Conservative Party yesterday (Thu) after details of the charge became known to Conservative members.

An emergency meeting of the North East Cambs Conservative Association (NECCA) executive committee was convened remotely to discuss the issue.

With regional Tory association officials taking part, the decision was taken to suspend Balsevics with immediate effect.

Cllr Jan French, chairman of NECCA, who organised the meeting, said it would be inappropriate to comment further until the outcome of the hearing against Balsevics concluded.

Tory Party officials contacted Wisbech Town Council where Balsevics remains a councillor but his status is now listed as an independent member.

Born in Latvia, Balsevics came to the UK in 2003 and in 2016 became a town councillor in Wisbech where he runs three public houses and an entertainment management business.

He is also a registered HMO (housing in multiple occupation) provider.

In 2018 he became deputy mayor of the Conservative controlled town council and a year later became mayor, the first Eastern European to become mayor of an English town.