Elphicke ‘must be investigated’ over lobbying claims | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Allegations that Natalie Elphicke, who give up the Tories for Labour final week, lobbied a minister to intervene in her then-husband’s intercourse offences trial should be investigated, a minister has mentioned.

Ms Elphicke’s former husband Charlie, who himself served as MP for Dover from 2010 to 2019, was convicted of three counts of sexual assault in 2020, all of which he denied, and jailed for 2 years.

Yesterday’s Sunday Times accused his spouse, who changed him as constituency MP on the by-election which adopted his subsequent resignation, accused her of lobbying former Justice Minister and Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland to intervene within the case.

Asked if there wanted to be an investigation, well being minister Maria Caulfield informed Times Radio: “I think if Robert Buckland – and I don’t know the details of what he said – has said that, then I think there probably should be.”

It was “up to the Labour Party” to research the claims, she confused.

Asked why Sir Robert had not raised issues earlier than Ms Elphicke had defected to Labour, she mentioned: “I don’t know the details of that meeting, you would have to ask Robert Buckland about that, but this is now something that the Labour Party would have to investigate.

“They’ve been busy enjoying political video games about who sits on which benches.

“We’ve been busy getting on with running the country.”

Speaking on BBC’s Westminster Hour, Tory former minister Sir Conor Burns suggested an investigation should have been started already.

He explained: “I don’t believe that Robert Buckland spoke about this formally at the time, I don’t know.

“But if he had done, there should have been an inquiry.”

Speaking on the same programme, Labour Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds asked why Conservatives calling for a probe did not do so when Ms Elphicke was said to have approached Sir Robert.

Ms Dodds explained: “Natalie Elphicke has said that these allegations are not true.

“And I think if the Conservative Party now says that it wishes to launch an investigation, the big question is for the Conservatives, because they maintain that this took place four years ago, there was no investigation, nothing done about it when she was a Conservative MP.”

Nevertheless chief Sir Keir Starmer is below contemporary strain over Natalie Elphicke’s defection to Labour, with Jess Phillips, former shadow minister telling LBC: “I think questions have to be answered now.

“I don’t know how one would prove if two people are saying two different things, it’s not my wheelhouse, it’s not my pay grade, there are questions to be answered,.

“There are apologies to be made and there’s work to do and I keep that place.”

Meanwhile Matt Wrack, president of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), who is also the general secretary of Fire Brigades Union, has denounced comments she made in March blaming firefighters for the deaths of three people during a past national strike.

In a letter to Sir Keir seen by The Guardian, he said: “This is a disgraceful assault on firefighters, who defend the general public and save lives each day, typically at nice private price.

“Attacking commerce union members on this method to justify assist for draconian anti-worker legal guidelines should be incompatible with membership of the parliamentary Labour celebration.”

Express.co.uk has contacted Ms Elphicke through her Parliamentary workplace for remark.