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Natalie Elphicke Denies Lobbying Justice Secretary Over Ex-Husband’s Trial Amid Party Defection Controversy



Natalie Elphicke has dismissed allegations that she attempted to influence the justice secretary regarding her former husband's trial as 'nonsense'. According to a report by The Sunday Times, it was claimed that Ms. Elphicke spoke to Sir Robert Buckland, who held the positions of lord chancellor and justice secretary, prior to Charlie Elphicke's 2020 trial for sexual offences.

Sunday, May 12, 2024, 2:

Claims that MP Natalie Elphicke pressured the justice secretary in 2020 to meddle in her then-husband’s trial for sexual offenses have been labeled as "nonsense" by her representative.

It has been alleged that the Dover Member of Parliament, who switched allegiance from the Conservative to the Labour Party, spoke to Sir Robert Buckland during his tenure as Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary prior to the trial of Charlie Elphicke.

According to The Sunday Times, she reportedly informed Sir Robert that she felt it was unjust for her case to be the first tried at Southwark Crown Court following the COVID lockdown, especially under the supervision of Lady Justice Whipple.

According to the report, one observer interpreted her remarks as an effort to transfer the case to a less prominent court, aiming to protect her partner from public exposure. Meanwhile, another believed she was seeking to remove the presiding judge from the case.

Sir Robert allegedly informed the publication that he declined her request, indicating that his involvement might compromise the fundamental principle of the separation of powers among the legislature and the courts.

"Sir Robert made it clear in his statement that it would have been entirely improper for her to discuss the trial with the judge under any circumstances,"

In a rebuttal issued and featured in The Mail on Sunday, a spokesperson for Ms. Elphicke described the allegations as "nonsense."

"Indeed, after his incarceration, Mr. Elphicke still received backing from many Conservative MPs who had long-standing relationships with him. Some of these MPs even made visits to see him and advocated for him on their own initiative, actions that were not connected to Natalie."

Stay informed on the most recent developments from the UK and across the globe by tuning into Sky News.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party stated that Ms. Elphicke completely denies that description of the meeting.

"The spokesman stated that if Robert Buckland truly had issues with the meeting, he ought to have expressed them when it occurred instead of voicing them through the media now that Natalie has decided to switch to the Labour Party."

Labour Party spokesperson Jonathan Ashworth raised concerns about the timing of the report during his appearance on Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips, stating, "She described that as nonsense and not her understanding of the meeting. I wasn't present at the meeting, so I can't confirm.

"Why didn't the lord chancellor address this issue when it occurred, using his official capacity to do so?"

When questioned on the matter, Lord Cameron informed Sky News, "I have absolutely no idea, so I really have nothing to add."

Elphicke's party switch labeled as 'blatant opportunism'

The foreign secretary criticized Labour for "blatant opportunism" in accepting Ms. Elphicke into the party.

During his appearance on Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips, he expressed his disapproval of defectors, stating: "I'm not a supporter of defectors. It often results in feelings of betrayal and other negative emotions.

"I perceived this as mere exploitation, involving the Labour Party as much as anyone else.

This describes a scenario where a notably conservative MP, traditionally aligned with right-wing ideologies, is unexpectedly embraced by the Labour Party despite having never backed any of their political strategies, personnel, or methods.

"The striking aspect is that it seemed to be a moment where you observe the Labour Party and realize – if they lack a clear stance, they're susceptible to such occurrences."

Natalie Elphicke, who succeeded her former spouse Charlie Elphicke as the Member of Parliament for Dover, saw her ex-husband convicted in 2020 for the sexual assault of two women. He received a two-year prison sentence.

She terminated their marriage following his guilty verdict but backed his failed appeal, stating that Mr. Elphicke was "charming, and appealing to women" and "vulnerable to underhanded political tactics and unfounded claims."

According to The Sunday Times, Ms. Elphicke is also accused of attempting to obtain improved prison amenities for him, including more comfortable pillows, a claim she has denied.

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Discover further details on Sky News: Elphicke expresses regret for backing former spouse convicted of sexual offenses. What are the implications of a Member of Parliament switching to a different party?

Following Ms. Elphicke's recent switch to their party, Labour members expressed reservations, pointing to her previous remarks regarding Mr. Elphicke's legal issues and those affected by his actions.

In her Thursday statement, she expressed condemnation of "his actions toward me and other women," noting it was "appropriate for him to face charges," and she apologized for "the remarks I made regarding his victims."

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