Five Tory MPs breached code of conduct by trying to influence Elphicke sex assault trial, committee rules

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Five Tory MPs breached the code of conduct by trying to influence the trial of former MP Charlie Elphicke, the Commons Standards Committee has ruled.

The MPs include Elphicke’s former wife Natalie Elphicke, Sir Roger Gale, Theresa Villiers, Adam Holloway and Bob Stewart.

Three of them – Ms Elphicke, Sir Roger and Ms Villiers – have been recommended for a one-day suspension.

Ms Elphicke replaced her former husband as the MP for Dover.

The standards committee said: “The letters signed and sent by the members in this case were an attempt improperly to influence judicial proceedings.

“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.”

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

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