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Dover MP Natalie Elphicke and Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale set for suspension after Charlie Elphicke trial interference

Two Kent MPs are facing a one day suspension after attempting to interfere with the trial of an ex-MP for the county.

Natalie Elphicke and Sir Roger Gale were found to have breached their code of conduct after trying to influence Charlie Elphicke's trial.

Natalie Elphicke and Sir Roger Gale are facing suspension
Natalie Elphicke and Sir Roger Gale are facing suspension

The duo are two of five MPs found to have fallen foul of the regulations during the Ex-Dover MP's trial over sex offences.

The Commons Standards Committee recommended that they be suspended for just one day alongside Theresa Villiers.

They have also been asked to apologise alongside Adam Holloway and Bob Stewart, who were not recommended for suspension.

Mrs Elphicke replaced her husband as MP for Dover and Deal several months after he was charged with three counts of sexual assault in July 2019.

During his trial, she and the four other MPs wrote to senior members of the judiciary raising concerns that a more junior judge was considering publishing character references provided for Mr Elphicke.

Charlie Elphicke and wife Natalie arrive at Southwark Crown Court ahead of his trial last year
Charlie Elphicke and wife Natalie arrive at Southwark Crown Court ahead of his trial last year

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

The MPs’ behaviour was found to have “caused significant damage to the reputation and integrity” of the House of Commons.

Of the three recommended for suspension, two had “substantial legal experience” while the third, Sir Roger, is both the longest standing of the group and “still does not accept his mistake”.

They were all told to apologise to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, as well as to the House, which is set to vote on the suspensions.

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