Home Kent News Investigation after judges ‘lobbied’ over Charlie Elphicke sex assault case

Investigation after judges ‘lobbied’ over Charlie Elphicke sex assault case

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Original article from Kent Live

Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke is under investigation over attempts to lobby judges ahead of a hearing relating to her estranged husband Charlie.

Parliamentary commissioner for standards Kathryn Stone is investigating Ms Elphicke along with four other Tory MPs in relation to Charlie Elphicke, including North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale and Gravesham MP Adam Holloway.

Using Commons stationery, the group wrote to senior judges to intervene in a hearing on whether references to support the former MP at his sentencing for sexual assault could be made public.

They are being investigated by Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, for “use of facilities [stationery] provided from the public purse” and for “actions causing significant damage to the reputation of the house as a whole, or of its members generally.”

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Conservative peer Lord Freud and MPs Sir Roger Gale, Theresa Villiers, Adam Holloway and Bob Stewart provided character references in support of Charlie Elphicke at his sentencing in September 2020, where Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke.

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke arriving at Southwark Crown Court in London to be sentenced for three counts of sexual assault

His appeal against the length of his sentence subsequently failed.

The Guardian lodged a request to access the references provided by the parliamentarians, who were not known at the time, but they then revealed themselves as the authors after a court date to discuss the matter was set.

However they and Natalie Elphicke then wrote to senior judges, copying in the judge who was due to oversee the hearing, expressing concern that “matters of principle” should first be considered by senior members of the judiciary and by parliament.

It is not yet known how long the investigation will take or when a result is likely to be publicised.

The same list, published on Monday, also listed Prime Minister Boris Johnson as being under investigation for a possible breach over a luxury £15,000 Christmas holiday in the Caribbean.

Original Article