Back in November 2017, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, then happily taking the Murdoch shilling at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, told readers “Tory MP Charlie Elphicke suspended after ‘serious allegations’ referred to police”. There was more.
What's that, Officer? I'm nicked? Oh SHIT
“THE Conservatives tonight called in the police and suspended the whip from senior backbencher Charlie Elphicke … New Chief Whip Julian Smith said: ‘I have suspended the Conservative Party whip from Charlie Elphicke MP following serious allegations that have been referred to the police.’” But it wasn’t serious, honestly.
We know this as Master Cole made sure to let the world know “A pal of Mr Elphicke's told The Sun: ‘Charlie is adamant that he has done nothing wrong’ … Tonight, the 46-year-old married backbencher tweeted: ‘The party tipped off the press before telling me of my suspension … I am not aware of what the alleged claims are and deny any wrongdoing’”.
See? Nothing to see here, even though That Spreadsheet told plainly that Elphicke was “Inappropriate with female researchers”. In any case, whatever the complaint, his behaviour can’t have been considered to bad, because last December he had the whip restored, as the Guardian reported: “Two Conservative MPs who had the party whip removed after being accused of sexually inappropriate conduct will be allowed to vote in Wednesday’s crucial ballot to decide whether to sack Theresa May”. Do go on.
“Elphicke was suspended from the Conservative party in November 2017 and was interviewed under caution by police in March after allegations of sex offences. He vehemently denies claims of any ‘criminal wrongdoing’”. He let it be known “Important for my constituents to know that, 13 months after having it withdrawn, I have been given back the Conservative whip … I remain as confident as I always have been of clearing my name and will continue to work as hard for Dover & Deal as I always have done”.
Must have been something and nothing, then. Except it wasn’t: as the BBC has now reported, “A Conservative MP has been charged with three counts of sexual assault against two women … Charlie Elphicke, the MP for Dover, is alleged to have assaulted one woman in 2007 and a second woman twice in 2016 … Mr Elphicke, 48, is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 6 September”. Well, well.
Has he had the whip re-suspended yet? Well, Tories? He hasn’t, has he? And with opposition to the idea of allowing London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to become Prime Minister in succession to Theresa May building, even within the Tory Party, The Blue Team may be reluctant to do so.
Even with the ten votes of the DUP, the Tories’ Parliamentary majority is down to four. Losing the upcoming Brecon and Radnorshire by-election will make that just three. The Tories are so desperate to keep that number from going negative that they are prepared to keep Elphicke within the fold, even though he’s been charged with sexual assault.
When Malcolm St Clair became MP for Bristol East in 1961, following Tony Benn’s disqualification due to being made a peer on his father’s death, he promised Benn that as soon as he renounced that peerage, he would resign the seat. He kept his word: two years later, Benn did indeed renounce his peerage and St Clair then resigned as an MP.
Indeed, the Tories did not even stand a candidate at the by-election whose result returned Benn to the Commons. It seems almost quaint today that a Tory MP would Do The Right Thing, so desperate has the party become to hold on to power.
The Charlie Elphicke affair encapsulates the modern Tory Party: power at all costs.
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