A PROFESSOR at Oxford University is taking a leave of absence in the wake of rape allegations.

Tariq Ramadan, professor of contemporary Islamic studies, has been accused of rape by two women in France.

The scholar has also been accused of sexual misconduct by four Swiss women.

Prof Ramadan denies the allegations.

In a statement issued today, Oxford University said: “The University has consistently acknowledged the gravity of the allegations against Professor Ramadan, while emphasising the importance of fairness and the principles of justice and due process.

"An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt and allows Professor Ramadan to address the extremely serious allegations made against him, all of which he categorically denies.”