Tory MP Charlie Elphicke charged with three counts of sexual assault

The MP for Dover and former government whip will appear before magistrates in September.

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Charlie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault against two women, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced.

The former government whip will appear in court in September over allegations that he attacked one woman in 2007, and a second twice in 2016. He has had the Conservative whip withdrawn for the second time in two years pending the outcome of the case.

In a statement, a CPS spokesperson said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has today Monday July 22 charged Charles Elphicke, MP for Dover, with three charges of sexual assault against two women.

“The CPS made the decision to charge Mr Elphicke after reviewing a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police.   

“The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Elphicke are now active and that he has a right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Elphicke, who was first elected in 2010, was suspended from the Conservative whip in November 2017 after “serious allegations” were reported to the Metropolitan Police. He was readmitted as a Tory MP in December 2018, so that he could participate in the confidence vote in Theresa May's leadership. 

Elphicke will face the charges at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 6 September. He denies the allegations. In a statement, his solicitor said: "Charlie Elphicke has said from the outside that he denies any wrongdoing. He will defend himself vigorously and is confident that he will clear his name. Meanwhile Charlie would like to thank everyone for their continued support of him and his family. There will be no further comment at this stage."

His constituency party in Dover and Deal, meanwhile, have signalled that he will retain their full support. Keith Single, its chairman, said: "Throughout the last 20 months since these allegations were made, Charlie has had our full support. That support will continue. Basic British values require that everyone remains innocent until proven otherwise.

"Unfortunately, as everyone knows, there have been many recent occasions when, in dealing with matters of this type, the Metropolitan Police and the CPS have pursued allegations which have been proven in court to be entirely untrue. We have no doubt that this will be another one of them and Charlie will be fully exonerated."

Patrick Maguire is the New Statesman's political correspondent.