Rory Stewart has spoken out after being named on an unverified list of sexual misconduct claims in Westminister, stating: "It's complete nonsense."

The Cumbrian MP said he had "no idea" how he had come to feature, with the former female member of staff also named saying he was "never anything other than completely professional".

The Penrith and The Border MP was speaking after his name appeared on an anonymously compiled list of supposed misdeeds by Conservative MPs.

Mr Stewart said the list said: "Rory Stewart asked his assistant to do odd things (Sophie Bolsover)".

In a statement on Twitter, she said: "While I recognise the seriousness of the allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour, sexual harassment and worse, I wish to emphasise that nothing of the kind implied by my name being included on this spreadsheet ever took place.

"During my time working in Parliament, Rory Stewart was never anything other than completely professional and an excellent employer.

"Moreover, the inclusion of my name on this list, by parties unknown to me and without my permission, has caused deep distress and anxiety."

Mr Stewart, speaking to CN Group, said: "It's completely untrue, hurtful and damaging, particularly that we have absolutely no idea what this is or where it's come from.

"And that is a great pity, not just in terms of the damage it's doing but that it is absolutely undermining a serious issue that people need to take seriously.

"Making up false reports is sadly damaging the cause."

Mr Stewart said the former employee, who worked for him for about four months two years ago, contacted him about the list.

He added: "What happened is Sophie texted me to say this thing had just been sent to her and she was horrified and what could she do?

"That was the first time I'd seen the list.

"My first guess was the odd thing I'd asked her to do was something like buy me sushi or buy a present for my godchild.

"She doesn't remember me asking her to do anything out of the ordinary.

"We don't know if there has been a mistaken identity."

Then the subject started circulating on social media, he said, prompting her statement.

Mr Stewart said he told his wife, Shoshana, immediately.

"I feel very sad because the honest answer is it's complete nonsense and I've got no idea where it's come from," added Mr Stewart.

"Once a rumour like this starts spreading round you feel people are going to think about you in a different way.

"I've done nothing. I've no idea what they are trying to imply I've done.

"It makes me think what on earth is this list? Who compiles it?"

Asked if he thought it could have implications for his career, Mr Stewart said: "I hope not.

"Obviously it's worrying if people start putting out rumours about you.

"It's troubling."

On the general issue of sexual harassment in Westminster, he said: "I think that in any workplace there are issues and people need to be very vigilant.

"Particularly junior staff need to feel confident in speaking out and whistle blowing if anything untoward happens.

"It's deeply disturbing and damaging to people if they are victims.

"It's not something I personally have seen or experienced in Westminster."