Commons clampdown: Three Tory MPs face suspension in row with judiciary

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Natalie Elphicke, Sir Roger Gale, Theresa Villiers, Adam Holloway and Bob Stewart were all found to have breached the MP’s Conde of conduct.

The Tories were found to have tried to influence a judge in the trial of former Dover MP Charlie Elphicke.

The MPs used House of Commons headed paper to write letters to senior judges.

“The letters signed and sent by the members in this case were an attempt improperly to influence judicial proceedings,” the Commons Standards Committee said.

“Such egregious behaviour is corrosive to the rule of law and, if allowed to continue unchecked, could undermine public trust in the independence of judges.”

All five MPs have been told they must apologise for their conduct.

Former environment secretary Ms Villiers, senior Conservative Sir Roger, and Ms Elphicke have further been told they should be suspended from the House for one day.

All five wrote to senior members of the judiciary raising concerns that a more junior judge was considering publishing character references provided for Mr Elphicke.

Mr Elphicke was jailed in September 2020 for two years for sexually assaulting two women.

He was found guilty of one count of sexual assault in 2007 and two further counts in 2016.

The judge said Mr Elphicke was a “sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover” at his sentencing.

More to follow…

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