THE Oxford Union debating society has replaced its president after he was arrested on suspicion of rape.

Students were told Ben Sullivan, 21, was no longer the president ahead of a planned debate on Scottish independence on Thursday night.

The history and politics student at Christ Church was not at the meeting after being released on police bail on Wednesday.

His replacement, Mayank Banerjee, 21, told the audience of about 80 students: “The Oxford Union believes in the premise of innocence until proven guilty and fully supports Ben Sullivan at this time. However, if found guilty, the Union believes he should of course face the full force of the law.”

Mr Banerjee, a second-year undergraduate student of politics, philosophy and economics at St John’s College, was due to assume the presidency in October following his election in March.

He stepped in early after Mr Sullivan, a history and politics undergraduate, from Knightsbridge, West London, was arrested by Thames Valley Police in his rooms at Christ Church College at 7.10am on Wednesday.

The privately-educated banker’s son was questioned for several hours on suspicion of rape and an attempted rape alleged to have taken place in January and April last year. Police later released him on bail until June 18, while officers continue their inquiries.

It was not confirmed whether Mr Sullivan had chosen to resign or had been removed from his post at the Union.