30/07/2020 12:58 BST | Updated 30/07/2020 14:24 BST

Former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault

One complainant had accused the defendant of chasing her around his home, chanting: "I’m a naughty Tory."

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been found guilty of three counts of sexual assault.

The 49-year-old, who represented Dover from 2010 to 2019, was accused of sexually assaulting two women.

The jury at Southwark Crown Court dismissed his claims the accusers were lying, instead believing victims who gave tearful evidence during a three-and-a-half week trial.

The first count related to an incident in Elphicke’s London home in summer 2007, when he is alleged to have kissed and groped a woman in her 30s while his wife, Natalie Elphicke, was away for the night.

The complainant, who cannot be identified, said Elphicke then chased her round his home, chanting: “I’m a naughty Tory.”

The second complainant, a woman in her 20s who also cannot be identified, alleged Elphicke tried to kiss her then groped her after they shared a drink in Westminster in April 2016.

He allegedly told her afterwards: “I’m so naughty sometimes.”

The same woman alleged Elphicke ran his hand up her thigh towards her groin in a separate incident.

Elphicke told jurors he was under a “misapprehension” when he kissed the first woman in 2007, and stopped the moment it became clear she did not welcome his advances.

He denied groping and chasing her.

Elphicke told jurors he wanted an affair with the younger woman, but denies sexually assaulting her, telling the court he had not touched her inappropriately.

PA Archive/PA Images
Charlie Elphicke, Conservative Member of Parliament for Dover in Kent.

The father-of-two was accompanied to court each day by his wife, his successor as Dover MP in 2019, but told jurors he is struggling to save his marriage.

He told jurors he had an affair with a woman in her 20s between 2015 and 2017. She also cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Elphicke sighed and looked at his lawyer as the unanimous verdicts were returned today.

The former MP was told he will be sentenced on September 15.

The judge, Justice Whipple, said: “All options remain very much on the table, including the possibility of an immediate custodial sentence.”

Elphicke became a government whip under David Cameron’s premiership in 2015, but returned to the back benches when Theresa May came to power the following year.

He had the party whip suspended in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault first emerged, but it was controversially reinstated a year later for a crucial confidence vote in then-prime minister May.

The whip was withdrawn again the following summer when the Crown Prosecution Service announced its decision to charge Elphicke.