The Metropolitan Police force has been authorised to charge Harvey Weinstein with two counts of indecent assault against a woman in London in August 1996.

It follows a review of evidence gathered by the force in its investigation into the 70-year-old, said Rosemary Ainslie, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s special crime division.

“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the defendant are active and that he has the right to a fair trial,” she added.

The Met Police said in a statement that the alleged offences took place between 31 July and 31 August 1996 and that the alleged victim is a woman who is now aged in her 50s.

Unlike some other countries, the UK does not have a statute of limitations for rape or sexual assault.

Once charges are authorised by the CPS a suspect must next be formally charged by police before court proceedings can begin.