Married former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke is facing the ‘very real possibility’ of jail after being convicted of sexually assaulting two women in near-identical circumstances, later describing himself to them as ‘naughty’.
The jury at Southwark Crown Court dismissed the 49-year-old’s claims his accusers were lying, instead believing victims who gave tearful evidence during a three-and-a-half week trial.
Elphicke, a former lawyer who admitted lying to police, his wife and party bosses when the allegations were first put to him, sighed and looked at his lawyer as the jury foreman recorded guilty verdicts in each of the three sexual assault allegations.
Judge Mrs Justice Whipple released Elphicke on bail to be sentenced in September but warned: ‘All (sentencing) options remain open. There is a very real possibility he faces immediate custody.’
The jury of 11, comprising eight women and three men, took two days to reach their verdicts. During the trial, the following details came out:
- Elphicke chased the woman around his house attempting to kiss her while screaming ‘I’m a naughty Tory’;
- He allegedly text her days later to say that he had ‘enjoyed the other night’ and wanted to meet again;
- The claimant said she called her sister to tearfully tell how he asked her about leather and lace and spanked her;
- The woman was told to ‘dress like Dawn French’ and ‘wear garlic’ to ward off his ‘Jekyll and Hyde personality’;
- Elphicke sexually assaulted a young parliamentary worker then ‘lectured’ her ‘not to blab’, she told the court;
- The Parliamentary worker in her 20s claimed he shoved his hand down her bra;
- He told a party whip claims against him could not be true – because the victim did not complain ‘at the time’;
- Elphicke agreed to pay a woman £5,000 in ‘compensation’ after allegedly sexually assaulting her;
- A Tory whip informed Scotland Yard about the allegations against him after local police did not take action;
- Elphicke wept as he admitted lying to police about his feelings for woman who accused him of sexual assault;
- He sexually assaulted two women in ‘almost identical’ ways, nearly a decade apart, while his wife was away;
- The ex-Tory MP ‘lied’ to the attorney general as he ‘hid behind’ him to protect himself from sex assault claims;
- He asked a young Parliamentary worker to rub sunscreen on him and gave her the ‘shivers’;
- His lawyer said he might be a bad husband and ‘foolish’, but does not mean he sexually assaulted two women.
‘Naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke (pictured with his wife Natalie today) has been found guilty of three sex attacks against two women
The former Conservative MP was told he will be sentenced on September 15 after being convicted at Southwark Crown Court today (pictured with wife Natalie, who has supported him throughout the trial)
Elphicke was Dover MP between 2010 and 2019 when he was succeeded by his wife Natalie Elphicke, who was not present in the courtroom as the verdicts were returned.
The first offence took place in Elphicke’s London home in summer 2007, when he invited a woman in her early 30s to share a drink with him while his children were asleep and his wife was away with work.
The woman said Elphicke asked her about bondage and sex, then kissed her and groped her breast before chasing her around his home chanting ‘I’m a naughty Tory.’
Breaking down in court, she told jurors: ‘He tried to kiss me and I moved my head, he pushed me down by my shoulders, he had his knee between my legs and he was groping my breast.
‘I was just shocked – really, really shocked.
‘He was saying really bizarre things that are embarrassing like ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.
‘He was trying to grope me and trying to grab my bum.
‘He was following me, it was like a race.
‘I couldn’t understand what was happening.’
The victim said Elphicke was ‘very animated, excited and clearly enjoying himself’.
She said she phoned her sister to tell her what had happened after fleeing his home, who later told police the episode sounded like ‘a sketch from The Benny Hill Show’.
The second complainant, a parliamentary worker in her early 20s, said Elphicke also tried to kiss her and then groped her when they met for a drink in Westminster in April 2016.
He then told her: ‘I’m so naughty sometimes.’
The victim said: ‘He had his mouth open, continually trying to kiss me.
‘It was like a disgusting, slobbery mess.’
She said she spurned Elphicke’s sexual advances, telling jurors she was physically repulsed by him, and that Elphicke told her he had ‘not been happy for years’ in his marriage.
But she said he assaulted her again the following month when he ran his hand up her thigh towards her groin.
The woman, who wept while giving evidence, added: ‘I think he thought that if he kept going that I would one day cave.
‘But I wouldn’t.’
Elphicke said he kissed the first complainant but said he initially felt it was something they both wanted.
He told jurors he was ‘besotted’ with the second complainant, but denied assaulting her.
The court heard Elphicke had an affair with a third woman, not a complainant in this case, between 2015 and 2017, but that he did not tell Mrs Elphicke until March 2018 when he was questioned by police.
He also kept his kiss with the first woman secret for around a decade, the court heard.
None of the three women can be named for legal reasons.
The court heard Elphicke initially denied any knowledge of the allegations against the parliamentary worker when he was summoned before Tory party whips in January 2017.
He later called on his ‘friend’, the former attorney general Dominic Grieve, to accompany him to a second meeting, although he failed to mention to Mr Grieve that he had strong feelings for the woman.
Elphicke also admitted lying to police about the same issue, banking on him not being prosecuted and therefore being able to keep it from his wife.
However, he told jurors he had to come clean about his ’emotional attachment’ to the parliamentary worker when legally qualified Mrs Elphicke pored over the case files during lockdown and accused him of having an affair with the woman more than 20 years his junior.
Elphicke became a government whip under David Cameron’s premiership in 2015, but returned to the back benches when Theresa May came to power the following year.
He had the party whip suspended in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault first emerged, but it was controversially reinstated a year later for a crucial confidence vote in then-prime Minister Mrs May.
The whip was withdrawn again the following summer when the Crown Prosecution Service announced its decision to charge Elphicke.
Married former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke groped woman in 2007 then chased her around his home like ‘something from a Benny Hill sketch’ shouting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ and trying to spank her, court hears
A former Conservative MP chased a woman around his house attempting to kiss and grope her while screaming ‘I’m a naughty Tory, I’m a naughty Tory.’
Charlie Elphicke was ‘animated’ and ‘enjoying himself’ as if he were taking part in a ‘school game’ as he pursued the woman while attempting to slap her behind.
Southwark Crown Court was told that prior to that Elphicke admitted to her that he liked ‘bondage and whips’ and bombarded the woman with questions over her sexual preferences and if she liked silk and leather as they shared a bottle of wine.
Details of the incident, which allegedly took place in 2007 three years before Elphicke became an MP, were revealed to jurors at Southwark Crown Court at the start of Elphicke’s trial.
Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke (pictured alongside wife Natalie Elphicke outside Southwark Crown Court) is alleged to have pursued the woman after trying to kiss her at his home, Southwark Crown Court heard
The former MP for Dover, 50, is accused of a sexual assault against the woman in 2007 and two assaults against a different woman within a week of each other in 2016. He has pleaded not guilty to both.
Recounting the 2007 incident Eloise Marshall QC told the court that Elphicke and the woman, who cannot be identified, were having a drink while his wife was away on business.
She said that the two initially sat in the garden but then moved into his living room and sat on a sofa, where he opened a ‘£40 bottle of wine.’
Ms Marshall added: ‘What happened next was very quick. He placed his knee between her legs, he was directly above her and tried to kiss her.
‘She moved her head back. He then put his hand into her dress, reached in and grabbed her right breast and started squeezing it.’
The court heard that the woman then jumped up, resulting in father of two Elphicke chasing her around the house.
Ms Marshall described it as a sketch out of a Benny Hill show but told the court that the incident was anything but lighthearted.
The woman became so distressed that she was forced to lock herself in a room, fearing for her life as Elphicke stood outside, continuing to scream: ‘I’m a naughty Tory.’
The court heard that he finally calmed down and went away, enabling the woman to leave the house. She called a taxi and went to her boyfriend’s house, where she immediately told him what had happened.
The court heard Elphicke was subsequently arrested by police.
He said of the 2007 incident that the woman was feeding chocolate stars into his mouth then she became ‘tactile’.
He said he kissed her on the lips and she ‘responded positively’, but she then said it was not what she wanted so he ‘immediately’ stopped.
The former MP went on to say that he was ‘taken by the moment’ and denied asking about silk and leather, as previously alleged.
He also ‘completely denied’ describing himself as a ‘naughty Tory’, the prosecutor said.
Elphicke told police the incident was a ‘regret’.
The prosecutor said the young woman ‘reiterated’ to Elphicke why the pair could not have a romantic relationship, and said she had no intention of doing so, adding: ‘I’m not changing my mind.’
Ms Marshall said: ‘It appears Charlie Elphicke was oblivious she didn’t want anything to do with him.Charlie Elphicke is treating this as all one big joke.
‘He’s using that ‘I’m so naughty’ approach to get away with his behaviour.’
She went on to tell jurors Elphicke said the woman asked for £5,000 compensation for the incident, which he took out from the bank in smaller amounts because the woman did not want Elphicke’s wife Natalie to find out.
Addressing potential jurors, judge Mrs Justice Whipple told them the defendant was the former Conservative MP for Dover in Kent and had been charged with sexual assault.
The judge asked them whether they have ‘strong views’ about politicians, the Conservative Party, or the Me Too movement, which might prevent them from sitting on the jury.
The court heard that the second alleged attack in April 2016 took place in a Parliamentary building as Elphicke shared a bottle of champagne with a female Parliamentary worker in her early 20s.
The former MP’s wife Natalie Elphicke (pictured) replaced him as MP for Dover last November
Ms Marshall said that the drink had been arranged following a crucial debate on an immigration bill followed by Prime Minister’s Questions, which Elphicke was concerned about.
As he drank champagne with the young woman, he ‘suddenly lunged at her’ and ‘forcibly kissed her on the lips,’ which the victim described to police as a ‘disgusting, slobbery mess.’
Elphicke is then alleged to have put his hand down her dress and ‘groped her breast.’
Ms Marshall told the jury: ‘The victim squirmed and pushed him away. She felt like an idiot.’
The court heard that Elphicke’s response was to ask her ‘what’s the matter, don’t you like me?’
Distressed by the incident, the woman left the office and walked to a nearby Tube station with Elphicke, who tried to kiss her again, telling her: ‘I’m naughty, sometimes, aren’t I? I can be so badly behaved, but I can’t help it.’
The jury heard that the woman was fearful that if she complained against Elphicke then it could have jeopardised her career, but she confided in a number of friends about what had taken place.
Ms Marshall said: ‘She was worried about what he (Elphicke) was going to do because she had clearly rejected him.’
The trial, before Mrs Justice Whipple is expected to last four weeks with both Elphicke and his wife Natalie giving evidence as well as around a dozen other witnesses.
Elphicke represented the Conservatives from 2010 until November 2017, when he was suspended from the party after the allegations of sexual assault were referred to the police.
Last November, he was replaced as MP for Dover by his wife Natalie Elphicke who was then elected to represent the constituency with a 12,000 majority at the General Election.
‘Let’s do it again’: Charlie Elphicke sex assault accuser tells court he texted to suggest another evening together but ‘didn’t want his wife to know’
A former Conservative MP accused of sexually assaulting a woman while singing ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ texted her days later to say that he had ‘enjoyed the other night’ and wanted to meet again, a court has heard.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, broke down as she claimed Charlie Elphicke had chased her around his home after he had groped her while his children slept upstairs.
She told Southwark crown court that a day later, he texted her to say ‘something like, ‘I enjoyed the other night, we should do it again’. I was like ‘my God, no’. I was like 100 per cent no.’
The woman said it felt like Elphicke was ‘racing’ her around his home in central London, in 2007, trying to grab her bottom.
The alleged victim had rejected Elphicke’s advances moments earlier as they shared a £40 bottle of wine, with the politician’s children asleep upstairs and his wife, Natalie Elphicke, away on business, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Giving evidence via video-link, the woman said she thought of Elphicke – who did not become an MP until three years later – as ‘asexual’, so found it ‘odd’ when he began asking her about her sexual preferences.
Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke (pictured alongside wife and current Dover MP Natalie Elphicke outside Southwark Crown Court)
She said: ‘He started talking about what we (the alleged victim and her boyfriend) liked in a sexual way.
‘I sort of wagged my finger at him and said ‘We don’t need to talk about that kind of thing’. He was like a totally asexual person, to me.
‘He started saying ‘Do you like silk and leather?’ and bondage. He was jovial, jokey, excited maybe, in an animated way. I was just thinking ‘Oh god, how embarrassing’.’
She said the conversation continued for ‘a couple of sentences’ before he ‘basically jumped’ on her, the court heard.
She said: ‘He tried to kiss me and I moved my head, he pushed me down by my shoulders, he had his knee between my legs and he was groping my breast.’ The witness said she told Elphicke to ‘get off’ and she ran away.
‘I just thought ‘I’ve got to get out of here’,’ she told the jury. My adrenaline was going. I was just shocked – really, really shocked.
‘I never thought in a million years that he was that kind of person, that he would do anything like that.’
She said Elphicke then ‘pursued’ her around his home as she moved away.
She said: ‘He was saying really bizarre things that are embarrassing like ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.
‘He was trying to grope me and trying to grab my bum. He was following me, it was like a race,’ she said.
‘I couldn’t understand what was happening.’
The witness told jurors she managed to get away from Elphicke and got into a taxi.
She said: ‘I was scared. I was feeling really shocked and scared … the whole thing was really embarrassing and odd and scary.’
Defence counsel Ian Winter QC accused the witness of inconsistencies in her evidence to friends at the time, and said the phrase ‘naughty Tory’ had ‘crept’ into her account after reading press reports a decade later of a so-called ‘naughty Tory list’.
He said: ‘The very first time that anybody recalls you saying Mr Elphicke has said he was a naughty Tory comes after the publication in the media of the ‘naughty Tory list’, wasn’t it?’
Elphicke denies three counts of sexual assault against two women, between 2007 and 2016. Pictured: Mr Elphicke with Boris Johnson on his Conservative Party leadership campaign tour in Dover in 2019.
The witness replied: ‘I think it’s a very common phrase. I think it’s excruciating that he used it but he said it.’
She also denied Mr Winter’s suggestion that Elphicke ‘immediately stopped’ kissing the witness when she said so, and that the incident ended there.
The witness said: ‘Mr Elphicke chased me down the hall. He wasn’t stopping, was he?’
Elphicke denies three counts of sexual assault against two women, between 2007 and 2016.
Jurors have been told of a second woman who said she found herself in Elphicke’s company, sharing a bottle of champagne in Westminster, when he allegedly assaulted her.
The young woman, a parliamentary worker, said he tried to kiss her before groping her.
Jurors have been told of a second woman who said she found herself in Elphicke’s company, sharing a bottle of champagne in Westminster, when he allegedly assaulted her
‘He had his mouth open, continually trying to kiss me,’ she said.
‘It was like a disgusting slobbery mess.’
The prosecutor said the woman ‘clearly rejected’ Elphicke, told him he was married, and that there was a large age gap.
Prosecutor Eloise Marshall told jurors he also said to the woman: ‘Oh, I’m naughty sometimes, aren’t I? I can be so badly behaved, but I can’t help it.’
Elphicke was elected as MP for Dover in 2010 and held the seat until standing down at the general election in December 2019. His wife, Natalie, succeeded him.
Charlie Elphicke’s sex assault accuser said ex-Tory MP chased her around his kitchen trying to smack her bottom in ‘distressed’ call to her sister while she hid in locked room at his home, court hears
A former Tory MP’s alleged sex attack victim called her sister from his home to tearfully tell how he asked her about leather and lace and spanked her bottom, a court heard.
Charlie Elphicke, 49, sat at the back of Southwark Crown Court as he listened to the sister tell the jury how distressed her sibling was.
The alleged victim, now in her thirties, had gone to the politician’s London townhouse and fled after he groped her, locking herself into a room.
The Dover MP was banging on the door and calling her name during the phone conversation.
The alleged victim, now in her thirties, called her sister from his home to tearfully tell how he asked her about leather and lace and spanked her bottom, a court heard
‘She phoned me and she was quite distressed. She was talking quickly,’ the sister said.
I had to ask her to calm down and ask what an earth what was going on. It was very out of character for her to call like that.
‘She sounded agitated and upset talking very quickly. She was clearly distressed.
‘She was saying he chased me around the kitchen.
‘Charlie lunged at her and took hold of her breasts. She told him to stop.
‘I only remember certain phrases like leather and lace and a spanking of the bottom.
‘He had made a lunge at her and touched her breast or grabbed hold of her breast. I knew from my conversation with her that the hand made contact with her breast and it wasn’t a brush past, it was intentional.
‘My advice was for her to get out of there. I didn’t want her to stay. He was knocking on the door at the time, obviously she was distressed.
The former MP’s wife Natalie Elphicke (pictured) replaced him as MP for Dover last November
‘All I knew was he had chased her around the kitchen trying to grab her bottom and wanting to spank her bottom to smack her.
‘She was locked there.
‘When I recalled it to my husband it just seemed so bizarre. I said it was like something from a sketch from an old Benny Hill show we watched when we were kids. I just thought it was utterly bizarre.
‘It was totally out of character for her to behave and react in that way. I could hear she was frightened and upset.
‘She was able to recount what had actually happened very well.
‘She thought she was a one-off occasion.
‘She was a very trusting girl and put herself in a vulnerable position and situation.’
Elphicke, of Dover, denies three charges of sexual assault – one against the woman and two against another woman in her twenties on two occasions in 2016.
Charlie Elphicke’s sex assault accuser was warned by a friend to ‘dress like Dawn French’ and ‘wear garlic’ to ward off the ex Tory MP who had a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality, court hears
Charlie Elphicke (pcitured with his wife Natalie), 49, became ‘scary’ and searched the woman’s bag when she rejected his advances during a lunch break, Southwark Crown Court heard
The woman who accused Charlie Elphicke of sexual assault was warned to ‘dress like Dawn French’ and ‘wear garlic’ to ward off the ex Tory MP’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde Personality’, a court heard.
Forty-nine-year-old Elphicke is alleged to have groped the woman, who is in her 20s, after they shared a bottle of champagne on the parliamentary estate in 2016.
Father-of-two Elphicke later contacted the woman, in her early 20s at the time, to see if she was OK and ask if they could meet up, Southwark Crown Court heard. He later asked if he could take her shopping.
He also accused the woman of being ‘up for it’ when she told him she was not interested in him.
A friend who she had confided in about the alleged assault told the woman, in her 20s, to ‘dress like Dawn French and wear garlic around your neck’ to fend off the former Tory MPs advances.
After a meeting with Elphicke, apparently to tell him he had ‘crossed a line’, the woman told her friend that it ‘didn’t go to plan’ and that he invited her to go shopping the following day.
The woman, wearing a long-sleeved white top, wept as she told the jury that Elphicke had a split character.
She agreed to have coffee with him after a series of incidents to tell him he was crossing a line, but he responded by demanding a shopping trip.
A friend had texted saying: ‘Stand firm. Re-iterate he crossed a line.’
After the encounter she replied: ‘Didn’t go to plan. I thought it was going to be fine because he was acting normal. Now he wants to take me shopping tomorrow. F***.’
She explained to the jury: ‘We were having a normal conversation. That’s when he said to me: ‘Are you going to tell me off?’ referring to before.
‘I said: ‘No, I’m not going to tell you off but that can’t happen again’ and he kind of just batted it away as if it was nothing.
‘In hindsight I should have said: ‘No you’re not listening, this is serious’ but I didn’t.
‘He flits in between personalities in a Jekyll and Hyde way. When he was in a playful, almost cartoon manner, it would be things like that, like ‘oh you’re going to tell me off,’ it was almost like the way you would talk to a child.’
Ms Marshall asked: ‘Who was being the child?’ She replied: ‘Him.’
Ms Marshall continued: ‘So he would use that sort of terminology – ‘telling him off’ – What other childlike terminology?’
Former Tory whip Elphicke is also accused of sexually assaulting a second woman, in her 30s at his townhouse in Belgravia (pictured) in 2007 while chanting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’
She said: ‘When he wasn’t supposed to do something he would say ‘I’m so naughty, I’m so badly behaved.’ It was almost like a pantomime.
Ms Marshall: ‘Was naughty a term he used more than once?’ She said: ‘Yeah.’
Ms Marshall: ‘Like in a pantomime, can you describe it more?’
She replied: ‘Yeah. It would almost be like this giggle and the shoulders were both up and almost like a gasp like ‘oh,’ that kind of manner.’
The friend texted her again to advise: ‘Dress like Dawn French and wear garlic around your neck.
‘He can f*** right off.’
She messaged: ‘I was completely ball-less. I tried to have a conversation but I wasn’t as confident as I wanted to be.
‘Now I have the issue where it’s going to happen again. I’m f****d.
‘He’s clinically insane. Trying to hold my hands again earlier. Gives me shivers.
‘He’s so deluded. He believes his own lies.’
Speaking about the messages, she told the jury: ‘At every stage I tried to stand up for myself.
‘I was getting ‘yeah, OK, I understand, I’ve been badly behaved and it won’t happen again. I shouldn’t have acted this way’ blah blah blah. Every time I said ‘OK’ and stupidly thought it would be OK.
‘But the whole thing would happen again.’
The jury were also shown messages by two Parliamentary workers who messaged her separately to tell her Elphicke was ‘mental’ and ‘a c***’.
When asked about her conversation with Elphicke after the alleged incident, she told jurors: ‘I tried to have a conversation (with Elphicke) and I should have been firmer.
‘I was afraid of him turning, basically.’
The woman said she didn’t go shopping with Elphicke but agreed to meet him again, for lunch, to ‘maintain a sense of normality’.
In a recording of a police interview played to jurors, the parliamentary worker described how Elphicke contacted her to arrange a lunch together some time after the alleged assault, and asked her questions about her relationship status.
‘He said: ‘So, you’ve got a boyfriend then?’,’ she told the court.
‘I said: ‘No.’
An exterior view of Southwark Crown Court in London, where Elphicke’s trial is underway
‘He said: ‘Why not? Why haven’t you got a boyfriend?’
‘I said: ‘I don’t want one. Men are all a waste of time.”
The witness said Elphicke then told her ‘you know I still really like you’, to which she replied that she was aware, but did not feel the same.
But she said she was ‘absolutely shocked’ when Elphicke appeared to be surprised by her latest snub.
She told police: ‘He said: ‘Oh, why didn’t you say so?’
‘I said: ‘I can’t believe you made that comment.’
‘He said: ‘Why were you so up for it in the beginning?’
‘I was absolutely shocked.
‘I said: ‘Oh my god, how can you look at that situation and say, ‘why weren’t you up for it’?’
The court previously heard Elphicke said ‘I’m so naughty sometimes’ after the alleged assault in Westminster, and later ran his hand up her the woman’s leg to her groin in a second incident that year.
He also became ‘scary’ and searched the woman’s bag when she rejected his advances during a lunch break, Southwark Crown Court was told.
The woman, in her 20s, said the former Conservative MP for Dover later promised it would not happen again and shook her hand.
became a ‘nasty bully’ and told his young parliamentary worker she was ‘up for it’ after he sexually assaulted her, a court has heard.
Elphicke is accused of sexually assaulting the woman twice in 2016 after he allegedly grabbed her breast on the parliamentary estate.
In a green V-neck top and black cardigan, the woman said in her video taped interview with police: ‘I worked so hard to get in Parliament.
‘It’s the first time in my life I wasn’t being paid by the hour. At lunch he said ”do you have a boyfriend?” I said ”no”, he said ”Why not?”
‘I said ”I don’t want one. I run around too much”. He said ”No, why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
‘I said: ”I don’t want one, they are a waste of time” and that’s when he put his hand over my leg again.
‘He went: ”You know, I still really like you” and I was like ”yes, I know but I’ve told you I don’t like you”. And then he said: ”Oh, why didn’t you say so earlier?”
‘I couldn’t believe he said that comment – ”Why were you up for that at the beginning?”
‘I was just absolutely shocked and all I said is ”I wasn’t. I didn’t.” Like, how can you say I’m up for anything. At what point did you get that from me?
‘That was the turning point and that is when he turned nasty. There was fury in his eyes.
‘He came up to me one day and said: ”Do you think I’m scary? Do you think I’m scary?” It was clear bullying.
‘He even went through my bag. That angered me so much. You don’t go through my stuff.
‘You can insult me, you can defame me you can bully me but don’t go through my things.
‘Later on he said: ”I behaved terribly and I’ve been incredibly inappropriate and it won’t happen again. Things happened that shouldn’t have happened and it wont happen again”.
‘I said: ”Promise me that what happened will never happen again” and he did and we shook on it.’
She said she decided to come forward about the allegations in November 2017 when government whips contacted her over an investigation they had started on Elphicke following a news alert over his alleged abuse.
Former Tory whip Elphicke is also accused of sexually assaulting a second woman, in her 30s at his townhouse in Belgravia in 2007 while chanting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.
Elphicke, of Dover, denies three charges of sexual assault.
The 49-year-old’s wife, Natalie Elphicke, who is the current MP for Dover, has been accompanying him to the trial each day.
‘Naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke, 49, told parliamentary worker in her 20s he had ‘not been happily married for years’ before he groped her in a Westminster bar – then called to warn her ‘not to blab’, sex assault trial hears
Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke sexually assaulted a young parliamentary worker then ‘lectured’ her ‘not to blab’, she tearfully claimed.
The 49-year-old father-of-two was also accused in court of telling her he ‘had not been happy for years’ in his marriage to Natalie Elphicke, moments after groping her.
Southwark Crown Court was told he attacked the woman in Westminster after inviting her to share some champagne with him in spring 2016.
The alleged victim, who was in her early 20s and cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she found Elphicke ‘physically repulsive’.
She said she kept telling him she was not interested in a sexual relationship with him, despite his protestations that she did.
Asked by prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC if she thought Elphicke believed she was, in fact, ‘up for it’, the woman, who wept while giving evidence, replied: ‘I think he thought that if he kept going that I would one day cave. But I wouldn’t’
Former MP Charlie Elphicke with his wife Natalie, who took his parliamentary seat, on their way to court
Elphicke denies three counts of sexual assault, two involving the parliamentary worker, and one involving another woman in 2007 at his home in central London.
The parliamentary worker described how she and Elphicke were chatting over a drink in Westminster, talking about how they apparently both liked ‘musicals and Abba’ before he allegedly put his arm around her and told her he liked her.
The jury heard excerpts from notes the woman made after the incident in which she told him she was not interested.
The woman wrote: ‘I said: ‘This was not OK’.
‘He said: ‘Why not?’
‘I said: ‘You’re married’.
‘He said he hadn’t been happy for years.’
The trial has already heard claims former MP Charlie Elphicke (pictured right with wife Natalalie) had chased a women around his London flat chanting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’
The woman then mentioned Elphicke’s children, aged nine and 15 at the time, to which Elphicke was said to have replied that ‘it wasn’t that easy to separate’.
The court heard how he contacted the woman by phone after the incident and warned her about talking to others.
She said: ‘He gave me a lecture about how I mustn’t blab: don’t say anything to anyone.’
Elphicke is alleged to have sexually assaulted the same woman later in 2016 when he ran his hand up her leg.
Asked by counsel Ms Marshall in court if she found Elphicke attractive, the woman replied: ‘Absolutely not.’
She said she had wanted to tell Elphicke: ‘You physically repulse me.
‘That’s what I wanted to say.
‘I was trying to deal with it by saying: I don’t like you like that.’
The court heard the witness agreed to meet with Elphicke in summer 2016, shortly after he became a backbencher when he was removed from government as Theresa May became prime minister, in which she challenged him about his behaviour.
She said in a message to a friend at the time: ‘It (the meeting) went as well as it could have.
‘He just kept apologising.
‘The massive demotion has really hit him hard and I think it humbled him massively.’
The trial has already heard claims he chased another woman around his house in central London chanting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ trying to spank her bottom.
She said that she was later told to ‘dress like Dawn French’ and ‘wear garlic’ to ward off the ex Tory MP’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde Personality’.
Elphicke, Dover MP from 2010 until 2019 when he stood down and was succeeded by his wife, denies three counts of sexual assault.
Married ‘naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke, 49, ‘shoved his hand down bra of Parliamentary worker in her 20s’
Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke shoved his hand down the bra of a Parliamentary worker in her 20s, she claimed.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, alleges the 49-year-old father-of-two groped her twice inside the Palace of Westminster in 2016.
Married Elphicke, the former MP for Dover, is also accused of sexually assaulting another woman at his Belgravia townhouse in 2007.
The unidentified Parliamentary worker became tearful during a cross examination by Ian Winter QC at Southwark Crown Court, prompting the judge to adjourn proceedings briefly.
Elphicke denies three counts of sexual assault, two involving the Parliamentary worker, and one involving another woman in 2007.
The woman was asked about a written record of allegations involving the former Tory MP, which she claimed was written ‘as it was all happening’.
Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke (pictured with his wife Natalie outside court) shoved his hand down the bra of a Parliamentary worker in her 20s, she claimed
‘This document could not have been finished before then,’ Mr Winter said. ‘Not as it was all happening, you wrote it after.
‘You were trying to make the document more contemporaneous than described in it. How could you get the date of this so wrong?’
She replied: ‘What, when? A year and a half later? When I left the country I was very much done, OK?
‘I tried, I tried to get rid of all this, alright? I literally tried my best to erase it from my brain and move on with my life. This happened a long time afterwards.
‘I think I wrote about two-thirds of it and added to it. Whether I changed the format size after I can’t remember. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it was all such a blur.
‘I remember feeling trapped. I remember him on me and around me in some way or another. I just remember where his hand was and him being basically on me.’
She went on to describe how Elphicke allegedly ‘stuck his hand down my top’, despite this action reportedly not being mentioned in her police interview.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, alleges the 49-year-old father-of-two groped her twice inside the Palace of Westminster in 2016
Mr Winter said: ‘You didn’t say he stuck his hand down your bra in your police interview. Why did you say that now when he didn’t?
‘I would like you to tell the truth.’
‘I am telling the truth, thank you,’ the woman replied. ‘He stuck his hand down my top.’
Mr Winter continued to ask if she had a memory of Elphicke ‘grabbing your breast’ as it ‘wasn’t in your note.’
‘You told police you remembered his kiss as a disgusting, slobbery, open-mouthed kiss but that wasn’t in your note,’ he said. ‘Do you have a memory of him grabbing your breast?’
She replied: ‘I do.’
Mr Winter said: ‘Why isn’t that in your note? What you’ve done is to escalate this from 2016 from when you were interviewed by police, to make it worse for Mr Elphicke.’
The woman responded: ‘I didn’t know I would be here giving evidence, OK? It was very hard for me to write this stuff, even then.
‘I have been sitting here having to describe to you what a kiss was like, I’m sorry I didn’t go into some novel detail.
‘You’re asking why I didn’t go into explicit detail?’
Mr Winter said: ‘He touched you in a tactile but non-assaulting fashion, didn’t he?’
The witness replied: ‘No. I completely disagree with you. If I’ve learnt anything it’s that old men like you keep telling me how to think and telling me how to feel. I’m telling you, alright?
‘I need to stop being told things by old men with an air of self-importance who are just trying to get points across,’ she added.
He asked: ‘Did you hate Mr Elphicke because he was an old man with an air of self-importance?’
Mr Winter then suggested she hated the fact Elphicke ‘fell head over heels for you’.
Sobbing, the woman said: ‘You’re going through this as if I had some crystal ball to tell I would be going through this.
‘The thing is, right, you’ve never been a young girl in this position so you can’t tell me how to handle it.’
Mrs Justice Whipple called for a brief adjournment and said: ‘He [Mr Winter] is just doing his job, OK? So let’s try not to personalise it. Let’s take a break.’
The trial has already heard claims Elphicke chased another woman around his house in central London chanting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ trying to spank her bottom.
She said that she was later told to ‘dress like Dawn French’ and ‘wear garlic’ to ward off the ex-Tory MP’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde Personality’.
Elphicke, Dover MP from 2010 until 2019 when he stood down and was succeeded by his wife, denies three counts of sexual assault.
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke says claim he assaulted woman in her 20s in Parliament couldn’t be true because she did not complain ‘at the time’
Former MP for Dover, 50, Charlie Elphicke (pictured outside Southwark Crown Court with wife Natalie – now the Dover MP) is accused of a sexual assault against a woman in 2007 and two assaults against a different woman within a week of each other in 2016. He denies all three counts
‘Naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke told his party’s deputy chief whip that claims he assaulted a woman in her 20s on the parliamentary estate could not be true – because the alleged victim did not complain ‘at the time’.
The former MP, a married father-of-two, made the claim while being quizzed by then-deputy chief whip, Anne Milton, over allegations he sexually assaulted a woman in April and May 2016.
He also told Ms Milton, who was herself an MP up until 2019, that the allegations were ‘appalling and untrue’.
The former MP for Dover, 50, who stepped down in 2019 and was succeeded by his wife Natalie Elphicke, is accused of a sexual assault against a woman in 2007 and two assaults against a different woman within a week of each other in 2016.
He has pleaded not guilty to all three counts and is currently on trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.
Jurors listened to a tape recording of the exchange between Mr Elphicke and Ms Milton in which it was heard that the complainant – a woman in her early 20s who cannot be identified for legal reasons – alleged that the then-MP had groped her breast.
She also alleged that Mr Elpichke ran his hand up her leg in a second incident some time later.
According to the tape, Mrs Milton told Elphicke: ‘I have had some very serious allegations about your behaviour – sexual misconduct, harassment and inappropriate behaviour.’
Elphicke replied: ‘Really?’ He later added: ‘Absolutely no way. I need my lawyer.’
Elphicke denied allegations put to him by Mrs Milton that he tried to kiss the woman, hold her hand or touch her breast.
He said: ‘I think it’s appalling and untrue. I’m shocked by this.’
Mrs Milton – who told jurors that part of her role as deputy chief whip involved ‘a certain amount of pastoral care’ – then asked Elphicke to ‘consider whether any of (his) behaviour was inappropriate’.
She said: ‘It would be good to feel you recognise some of the story.’
Elphicke replied: ‘That I sexually assaulted her?’
Mrs Milton added: ‘And tried to touch her leg? Tried to kiss her?’
Elphicke replied: ‘Six months ago?’
Mrs Milton said: ‘Well, Charlie, it doesn’t matter when it happened.’
Asked whether Elphicke felt the allegations were either ‘untrue, or a misunderstanding’, he replied: ‘They’re untrue.’
He added: ‘This was six months ago. If this was true, a complaint would have been made at the time.’
The court heard that Elphicke met Mrs Milton again some time later to go over the allegations, along with former attorney general Dominic Grieve.
Mrs Milton, herself an MP until 2019, said the complainant was ‘distressed and distraught’ when she first got in contact to say that she had been the ‘victim of unwanted sexual attention’.
Elphicke is also accused of assaulting another complainant, a woman in her early 30s, at his home in London in 2007, when he was alleged to have groped her breast and chanted ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ while chasing her.
‘Naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke agreed to pay £5,000 to sex assault accuser in ‘compensation’ for ‘consensual’ kiss, court hears
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke agreed to pay a woman £5,000 in ‘compensation’ after allegedly sexually assaulting her, withdrawing the money in small amounts to prevent his wife from finding out, a court heard.
The 49-year-old father-of-two said the complainant wanted ‘compensation’ after the alleged incident at his Belgravia townhouse in London in 2007.
Elphicke said he believed the woman ‘wanted to take matters further’ after they shared a bottle of wine while his wife, MP Natalie Elphicke, was away on business, but said he had been ‘under a misapprehension’ in making advances towards her.
The woman, in her early 30s at the time, alleged Elphicke tried to kiss her, groped her breast, then chased her around his home while trying to grab her bottom.
A second woman, a parliamentary worker in her early 20s, has accused Elphicke of two sexual assaults inside the Palace of Westminster in 2016.
Elphicke, who was Dover MP from 2010 until 2019 when he was succeeded by his wife, denies three counts of sexual assault.
Neither complainant can be identified due to laws granting anonymity to alleged victims of sexual offences.
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke agreed to pay a woman £5,000 in ‘compensation’ after allegedly sexually assaulting her, withdrawing the money in small amounts to prevent his wife MP Natalie Elphicke (right with Elphicke outside court) from finding out, a court heard. The 49-year-old father-of-two said the complainant wanted ‘compensation’ after the alleged incident at his Belgravia townhouse in central London in 2007
‘I’m not into bondage’: Tory MP Elphicke denies sexually assaulting woman in 2007 as he reveals he’s ‘not into whips’
‘Naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke denied sexually assaulting a woman in his London townhouse in 2007 as he revealed that he has ‘never been interested in’ bondage and whips.
Southwark Crown Court was played a recording where Elphicke was interviewed by Met police in 2018.
DCI Simpson asked the former MP about a passage from the woman’s testimony in which she claimed he talked to her about ‘silk and leather’.
He asked ‘are you familiar with that term?’ to which Elphicke replied: ‘No, what’s that? I don’t understand. Where’s that come from?’
‘I don’t think we had that conversation. I have never heard of this term. I don’t know what it means.’
The officer interjected: ‘It is to do with bondage and whips.’
Elphicke said: ‘That is never something I have been interested in. ‘I am not that sort of person. I am not into that kind of thing.’
Excerpts from Elphicke’s interview with the Metropolitan Police in March 2018 were played during his trial at Southwark Crown Court.
In them he said the woman asked him not to tell his wife Mrs Elphicke about the 2007 incident and to pay her £5,000.
He said: ‘I said we should tell Natalie. She said she didn’t want Natalie to know.
‘She wanted compensation due to the destructive nature of what happened. We settled on £5,000 in the following weeks I gave her the money in cash.
‘I got it in smaller amounts – £500, £1,000 – because she was insistent Natalie shouldn’t know. £5,000 then would be the equivalent of £10,000 now.
‘It is a lot of money. I came to deeply regret it.’
Asked if he had ever told his wife about the payments, former Tory government whip Elphicke told the interviewing officers: ‘No.’
He also described how the first alleged incident happened and said that he stopped immediately when the woman told him to.
Elphicke said: ‘My wife Natalie was away and I got chatting to her and we decided to open a bottle of wine and have a chat sitting on the sofa.
‘I cannot recall if it was her idea or mine to open the bottle of wine, I think it was consensual. I recall she was feeding me chocolate stars. I don’t know why chocolate stars, but she was feeding me chocolate stars and putting them into my mouth.
‘It was very convivial, very friendly. She became friendly. It was tactile and the atmosphere was, it was very warm and convivial and I believed she wanted to take matters further so I leant over and I kissed her.’
The court heard: ‘At first she responded positively but after a short period it became clear this is not what she wanted.
‘I thought she had consented and wanted me to kiss her and things got to that point, but after a time it became clear this was not what she wanted.
The woman, in her early 30s at the time, alleged Elphicke tried to kiss her, groped her breast, then chased her around his home while trying to grab her bottom. A second woman, a parliamentary worker in her early 20s, has accused Elphicke of two sexual assaults inside the Palace of Westminster in 2016. Elphicke, who was Dover MP from 2010 until 2019 when he was succeeded by his wife (right), denies three counts of sexual assault
Elphicke was ‘very concerned’ about being included in Telegraph’s ‘dirty dossier’ of Tory MPs accused of sexual assault, court hears
Charlie Elphicke said he was ‘very concerned’ about being included in The Telegraph’s ‘dirty dossier’ of Tory MPs accused of sexual assault published October 30, 2017.
The court was played a recording where Elphicke was interviewed by two Met Police officers in 2018.
DCI McInerney: ‘A list was published sometime at the end of last year some sort of dossier, some list I think which you were named in. Did that ever cause you concerns when it was published?’
Elphicke replied: ‘Obviously yes, it did.
‘I found out I was on it I believe November 3.
‘When I found out on the Wednesday I was very concerned. I think everyone on there was very, very, concerned and indeed then on the Friday evening I’m suddenly being phoned up and told I’m being suspended for unspecified allegations.
‘I asked what these allegations were and the Chief Whip would not tell me.
‘So I’ve had I think it is a good four months, four and a half months to this day where I have not known what the allegations against me are and obviously, that has caused me much fear much concern and I find it unnecessary to have been in this situation for so long without having been able to make an answer against any case against me.’
‘I did not touch her breast. We were on the sofa sat side by side. I believe what happened was we were both sitting facing forwards.
‘I was sat on the left hand side and she was sat on right hand side. I put my arm on the back of the sofa. I turned to her. If she felt anything on her breast it would behave been an arm not a hand not on purpose.
‘I put my right arm on the back of the sofa, my left arm I put on the top of her arm for the purpose to hold her gently.
‘I believe she consented, it was what she wanted, as soon as I realised this was not the case I stopped immediately.
‘She was not happy, she was very unhappy. I was very apologetic because I had been under a misapprehension.’
The woman later alleged that Elphicke chased her round the Belgravia townhouse chanting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.
Elphicke told police they discussed the matter at a later date, during which the woman was ‘very unhappy’ with what had happened.
He said: ‘I was incredibly apologetic. I believed this was what she wanted.
‘She said she accepted my explanation, my apology, and that I had been under a misapprehension.’
He said that he ‘got it wrong and for the last ten years I have had to live with this’, adding: ‘I did not grope her.
‘She felt I had done that and I explained no I hadn’t done that. I explained to her this is a situation where I went to put a hand on her other arm which would have been across her chest and she may have thought that was the case and that is absolutely not my intention.
‘Every life has its regrets and this is the regret of my life. I got it wrong. And for the last ten years I have had to live with this.’
He also said he was ‘not that sort of person’ who was interested in bondage and whips.
‘I don’t think we had that conversation. I have never heard of this term [silk and leather]. I don’t know what it means.’
The officer interjected: ‘It is to do with bondage and whips.’
Elphicke said: ‘That is never something I have been interested in. I am not that sort of person. I am not into that kind of thing.’
MP Elphicke ‘told people to steer clear of 2007 sexual assault accuser’, court hears
Charlie Elphicke told people to ‘steer clear’ of a woman who accuses him of sexual assault, a court heard.
The woman alleges Elphicke, 49, groped her twice inside the Palace of Westminster in 2016.
Margot James, 62, told jurors that Elphicke tried to ‘bad-mouth’ the woman, in her 20s, in the ‘members’ tearoom’ at Westminster.
Ms James was MP for Stourbridge between 2010 and 2019 and was Minister for the Arts in 2018 before she had the whip withdrawn and stood unsuccessfully as an independent.
She said in her statement written in December 2017: ‘I have been asked to provide a statement in connection to a colleague of mine, Charlie Elphicke MP.
‘I am currently an MP for Stourbridge having been elected in May 2010. Prior to this I ran my own business for approximately 15 years.
‘[The woman] was young but very competent, serious about her work and acted appropriately at all times. I don’t actually work with her.
‘She later contacted me to request my support.
‘Some weeks after, Charlie spoke to me in the members’ tearoom. He suggested people should steer clear of her.
‘He said she had said things about him which had no basis whatsoever and continued to bad-mouth her.’
Moving on to the 2016 allegations, Elphicke said he was shocked to be ‘brought completely blind’ in a meeting with deputy chief whip Anne Milton and chief whip Julian Smith, which was played to the jury.
The jury heard he took former Attorney General Dominic Grieve along to his next interview who ‘castigated’ the pair for conducting ‘not a fair or proper process’.
‘I attend the meeting with the Deputy Chief Whip Anne Milton who is a senior minister in the government and Julian Smith who is the Vice Chamber in the Household a senior member of the government who is my own Whip and with no prior warning what the meeting’s about they accuse me of sexually harassing and assaulting [the woman]. I rejected these allegations.
‘I was shocked, shocked by the meeting and shocked to be called in without any notice. It was clear to me some sort of investigation had taken place by Ms Milton and that was a concern to me.
‘It was a concern to have allegations launched on me at which I had no notice, no representation and literally was brought completely blind and I was very concerned and worried it can only serve to contaminate the evidence and make it harder to get an answer.
‘I had a further meeting where I took along Dominic Grieve the former Attorney General who castigated them for breaches of natural justice, the risks of contaminating the evidence in this matter, the risk of leading people and you know, the general conduct was not a fair and proper process.
‘That was on Tuesday January 17 and Mr Grieve came along as my representative and I was told there the matter was being dropped and I was told she did not wish to proceed with her complaint and that no further action would be taken. Ms Milton told me that the papers in relation to this matter would be destroyed.
‘I sent various text messages to Anne Milton setting out my serious concerns asking to be able to see what had been alleged asking for the papers asking for the detail and I received nothing whatsoever.’
Elphicke continued: ‘I see the allegation is I touched her leg over her clothing and ran my hands up her thigh and into her groin without her consent.
‘This was not true. If either of these allegations had been true she would, could have immediately made a complaint.
‘She made no complaint to me or anybody else about this business.’
Tory whip called in Scotland Yard over sex assault allegations against MP Charlie Elphicke after accuser’s local force failed to take action, court told
A Tory whip informed Scotland Yard about allegations of sexual assault by Conservative politician Charlie Elphicke after her local police station did not respond to the claims.
Mr Elphicke, 49, has been accused of three accounts of sexual assault, including an incident where he asked a woman about bondage and whips before groping and chasing her shouting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ in 2007.
The former MP for Dover has also been accused of sexually assaulting a Parliamentary worker twice in 2016 inside the Palace of Westminster.
Mr Elphicke, a father-of-two, has denied all three counts of sexual assault.
Former Tory MP for Dover Charlie Elphicke (pictured left), accused of three counts of sexual assault between 2007 and 2016, was investigated by Tory whips over the allegations made against him
Tory deputy chief whip Anne Milton (pictured) called in Scotland Yard when the local police force of a potential victim in 2016 did not take action when the allegations were made
Deputy chief whip Anne Milton, who held an investigation into Mr Elphicke’s actions alongside chief whip Julian Smith, called in Scotland Yard to tackle the allegations.
Southwark Crown Court also heard that the victim in question’s local police station, South Wales police force, did not take any action when the allegations were brought to their attention.
Eloise Marshall questioned DCI Mick McInerney about an interview between Metropolitan Police and Mr Elphicke in 2018.
The court heard Ms Marshall ask: ‘Is it right she called [her local police station]?’
DCI McInerney responded: ‘Yes.’
Ms Marshall: ‘And is it right they didn’t get back to her?’
DCI McInerney: ‘That’s correct.’
Ms Marshall: ‘Which is when the Metropolitan Police got contacted?’
DCI McInerney: ‘Yes.’
Ms Marshall: ‘The whips informed you of the investigation?’
DCI McInerney: ‘I was informed of the allegation by Anne Milton, yes.’
Ms Marshall: ‘And as a result of that you contacted [the alleged victim]?’
DCI McInerney: ‘I did. We had contact details and contacted her to ask if we should speak to her.’
Mr Elphicke admitted he was shocked at the allegations made against him and the interview he had with Ms Milton and Mr Smith.
He told the court: ‘I was having accusations made against me. I did not have any legal representative and I did not think it was an appropriate interview.
‘I spent most of the interview in complete shock about the allegations being made against me.’
Mr Elphicke was the MP for Dover from 2010 to November 2019 but did not stand in last year’s general election due to the allegations of sexual assault.
He was replaced as the Tory candidate by his wife, Natalie, who won by a majority of over 12,000 votes.
The court had previously heard that Mr Elphicke agreed to pay the 2007 victim £5,000 in ‘compensation’, withdrawing the money in small amounts to prevent his wife from finding out.
She alleged Elphicke tried to kiss her, groped her breast, then chased her around his home while trying to grab her bottom.
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke weeps as he tells court how he LIED to police about having ‘feelings’ for one of two women who accuse him of sexual assault – as he admitted cheating on wife with a third woman
Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke wept as he admitted lying to police about having feelings for a woman who has accused him of sexual assault.
The father-of-two, 49, is charged with three counts of sexual assault relating to two different women.
Giving evidence, the former Dover MP, told Southwark Crown Court of a third woman with whom he allegedly had an affair.
The married man claimed he had sex with the woman three times and confessed to his wife after ‘rumours’ began circulating in his constituency.
He said that he then fell for another woman months later who has accused him of groping her twice in the Palace of Westminster.
Elphicke also told how he kissed a woman, in her 30s, at his Belgravia townhouse in 2007 but denied sexually assaulting her.
Mr Elphicke admitted not telling the truth to police when they asked him about the parliamentary worker in her 20s he is accused of sexually assaulting in 2016.
He said he didn’t want to ‘put my marriage in jeopardy’ and that it would ’cause chaos’.
He later added: ‘I should not have lied to the police, I should have just fronted it up.’
Former Tory MP for Dover Charlie Elphicke (pictured with his wife and successor as MP Natalie Elphicke), is accused of three counts of sexual assault between 2007 and 2016
Referring to the incident in June 2007, Ian Winter QC, defending, asked him: ‘You are alleged to have kissed [the woman] on that evening. Did you kiss her?’
Elphicke replied: ‘Yes. I thought she wanted to be kissed so I kissed her.’
‘Did you grope her or grab her breast either outside her clothing or inside her top?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘No,’ he replied.
‘Did you thereafter smack her bottom?’ the lawyer asked.
‘No,’ Elphicke said.
‘Did you say you were a naughty Tory?’
‘No,’ came the reply.
‘Did you chase her into the living room or down the stairs?’ the QC asked.
‘No,’ he replied.
‘Did you sexually touch [the second woman]?’
The former MP replied: ‘No.’
‘Did you try and lift her onto your lap?’ the lawyer asked.
‘No,’ he said.
‘Did you touch her breast under her top?’ the barrister asked.
Mr Elphicke (pictured left) was the MP for Dover for nine years between 2010 and late 2019 before being replaced as the Tory candidate for the seat by his wife, Natalie, who won in the 2019 general election. He stepped down following the allegations made against him
‘No,’ Elphicke said.
‘Did you hold her hands in a way that’s a sexual assault?’
‘No,’ the 49-year-old said.
‘Did you put your arms round her while she put a coat on?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘No,’ Elphicke replied.
‘In May, did you put your hand on her leg and slide it up to her groin?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘No,’ the former politician replied.
Elphicke said he shared some wine with the woman – a rioja, a bottle he described as ‘a bit nice’ – and that they had been chatting together.
The conversation became ‘flirty, more fun’, he told the court.
Elphicke said he had not asked the woman if she liked whips or bondage, leather or silk, and said he did not like those things either.
Describing the incident in his family home, Charlie Elphicke said: ‘She started feeding me chocolate stars and at some point I started feeding them into her.
‘I came to the conclusion that we wanted to kiss because we were in this sort of silly moment.
‘In a moment of extreme stupidity I forgot who I was… I forgot where I was.
‘I kissed her. And she kissed me back.’
Referring to the 2007 incident, Elphicke said: ‘I put my arm round the sofa behind her* It might have touched her back.’
‘When doing all that touching did you think she consented to that activity?’ the lawyer asked.
‘Yes,’ came the reply.
‘Whilst you’ve told us you did not assault [the second woman] did you come to feel very strongly for her?’ the lawyer asked.
‘Yes,’ the former MP said.
‘How would you describe the strength of her feeling?’
‘I thought she was amazing, I loved her vitality and her smile. I thought she was just… Amazing,’ Elphicke answered.
‘Were you willing to have a sexual relationship with her?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘Yes,’ Elphicke said.
‘Did you proposition her?’
‘Yes,’ the former MP said.
Asked about whether he told Deputy Chief whip Anne Milton about the advances he had made when questioned by her, Elphicke said: ‘No.’
‘From May (2016) did you accept that [the alleged victim] did not want to have a sexual relationship?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘Yes,’ Elphicke said.
‘I accepted she said no.’
The QC asked: ‘Why did you not tell Ms Milton* Anything about you losing your head?’
Elphicke replied: ‘Because I thought it would end my marriage.’
‘What did you think Natalie (Elphicke)’s reaction would be to the fact that you had lost your head?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘I thought she would take it very seriously, be very hurt,’ Elphicke replied.
‘I didn’t know how to tell Natalie that I had developed an attachment. I thought she would be very hurt… I didn’t want to put my marriage in jeopardy and I thought that this would.’
Mr Winter asked: ‘You denied when interviewed that you’d committed any form of sexual assault to the parliamentary worker. Did you tell the truth in that regard to the police?’
Elphicke replied: ‘Yes. [But] I didn’t say the extent of my feelings and I didn’t say that I suggested to [the woman] that I take our relationship to a different level.’
He was asked about his relationship with a third woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
‘How many times int total did you have sex with [the third woman]?’ the QC asked.
‘Three,’ came the reply.
‘After I was suspended there were a lot of rumours, a lot of talk in the constituency,’ Elphicke added.
‘Did you after the interview tell [your wife] the truth about [the woman]? Mr Winter asked.
‘Yes,’ he replied.
‘What did you think that Natalie would think if you went on to tell her that in addition to that sexual relationship* You had also lost your head over the second woman?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘I thought it would be too much,’ Elphicke said.
‘What was the reason you didn’t tell the full truth to police?’ the barrister asked.
‘Because I didn’t think my marriage would survive this and I hoped never to say this because I hoped never to be prosecuted,’ Elphicke replied.
‘Do you accept that in effect you lied to the police?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘Yes,’ he replied.
‘Would you like to say something to the jury about why someone in your position lied to the police?’ the barrister asked.
‘I’d like to say this: I should not have lied to the police. I should have told the whole truth rather than part of the truth, and I’m sorry,’ Elphicke replied.
The court also heard the ex-Tory MP joked with a young Parliamentary worker: ‘There’s a lot to be said for a little horse play’ after she told him she was lonely, the court heard.
Elphicke sent flirty puns to the woman after tweeting a picture of himself with a horse in Alkham Valley, near Dover, it was said.
He said he thought the staffer had been ‘missing him’ because she messaged him saying she was lonely while he was down in his constituency in 2016.
Elphicke texted her asking how she was to which she allegedly responded: ‘Not bad, a little lonely. I’ve seen your picture with a horsey. How’s it going down there?’
The 49-year-old sent a ‘pun’ back before adding: ‘There’s a lot to be said for a little horseplay.’
‘When you read the way in which she wrote that message to you, what did you think she was communicating?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘I thought she was missing me,’ came the reply.
‘Thinking about it now what do you think about the way you were reading these messages?’ the lawyer asked.
‘I think what was presented to me was not a reality,’ Elphicke said.
‘Did you read anything into the use of horsey rather than horse?’ the QC asked.
‘Yes,’ the former MP responded.
‘Then she said ‘Typical you horsing around,’ you said ‘There’s a lot to be said for a little horse play.’
‘What did you think about your relationship at this point in the day?’
‘I thought we were pretty much just flirting with each other,’ Elphicke said.
The former MP had messaged the same woman earlier in the year and joked about asking another person whether he had a butler, the court heard.
Asked about the latter exchange, the former whip said: ‘I was completely unprofessional and I was just stupid.
‘I’m embarrassed to read this, I’m embarrassed full stop.’
He added: ‘I thought it was a two-way street.’
‘Did you think for a moment that she was actually being made uncomfortable by these exchanges?’ Mr Winter asked.
‘No,’ came the reply.
Elphicke broke down again as he described to the court how his marriage ‘hangs by a thread’ after keeping from his wife that he had propositioned the second complainant.
It was only when his wife – a trained solicitor – went through material in the case in March this year that the full extent of his feelings for the complainant became clear to her, the court heard.
Elphicke said: ‘She (Mrs Elphicke) became very cross with me because she thought I had an affair.
‘She said she thought I had an affair and she had it out with me.
‘I said I had not had an affair but I propositioned (the second complainant).
‘She (Mrs Elphicke) was very upset. It was very, very difficult.’
Describing the status of his marriage, Elphicke said: ‘She (Mrs Elphicke) comes into court with me every day.
‘She’s supporting me throughout proceedings.
‘But things are not good.
‘It hangs by a thread.
‘I’ve got a lot of work to do. She’s most upset that I didn’t tell her at the outset.’
He added: ‘I’ve made a complete mess of everything.’
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke sexually assaulted two women in ‘almost identical circumstances’ nearly a decade apart while his wife was away, court hears
Former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke, sexually assaulted two women in ‘almost identical circumstances,’ nearly a decade apart while his wife was away, a court has heard.
Elphicke, 49, the MP for Dover from 2010 to 2019, has repeatedly denied groping two women, trying to kiss them, and then describing himself as ‘naughty’.
The first incident was said to have involved a woman in her early 30s who was invited to share a drink at his London home in 2007.
Former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke (pictured with his wife Natalie Elphicke) told a court he was ‘besotted’ with the Parliamentary worker who he is accused of groping
The second complainant is a parliamentary worker in her early 20s who Elphicke propositioned and allegedly groped in Westminster in April 2016.
She also accused him of running his hand up her leg towards her groin in a separate incident the following month.
Cross-examining Elphicke at Southwark Crown Court, prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC said of the second complainant’s evidence: ‘She appears to be telling lies about you which are almost identical to nine years earlier (involving the woman in her 30s).
‘Is it an incredible coincidence these two women are making up – according to you – exactly the same lie?’
Elphicke replied: ‘I cannot account for what they are saying.
‘I can say I did not sexually assault either of these women.’
The prosecutor said: ‘The issue for this jury is who is lying and who is telling the truth.’
Elphicke replied: ‘The jury has to decide who is guilty of these crimes.
‘I did not sexually assault these women.’
Giving evidence for a second day, Elphicke told the 11 members of the jury that he was not attracted to the woman in her 30s, but that he wanted to ‘have a physical relationship’ with the second complainant, a parliamentary worker more than 20 years younger than him.
The 49-year-old said he invited the woman for a drink and told her he liked her, thinking their feelings were ‘a two-way street’.
The former MP (pictured outside Southwark Crown Court with his wife) denies three counts of sexual assault
He said: ‘I said to (the woman) how much I liked her in many ways and how I had not, er, met someone like her for a very, very long time and how I was clearly liking her a lot.’
Defence counsel Ian Winter QC asked: ‘How did you feel about her?’
Elphicke replied: ‘Besotted. I thought she was just amazing.
‘I hadn’t felt like this in years. I thought it was a two-way street and she felt the same about me as I did about her.’
The woman did not feel the same way, the court heard, although Elphicke said he did not initially receive an answer after he propositioned her.
Giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court he said the Parliamentary worker was ‘lovely and wonderful’ and told jurors he texted her: ‘Goodness I need a stiff drink!’ before meeting her for a drink.
They ‘gossiped’ and discussed how much they enjoyed spending time together for two hours before parting ways at around 8pm.
The court heard that the former MP later invited the young woman to his flat in central London where he waited for several hours.
However when she did not arrive, Ephicke told jurors: ‘I felt like a complete idiot.’
Defence counsel Ian Winter QC asked: ‘Did you think she would find the attention you gave her unwelcome or made her feel uncomfortable?’
Elphicke replied: ‘No.’
During the trial, Elphicke denied pulling the woman onto his lap and planting a ‘disgusting, slobbery’ kiss on her open mouth and denied running his hand up her leg towards her groin.
He insisted any touching was ‘social’ and ‘normal’ and denied allegations that he shoved his hand down her top and fondled her breasts.
Ian Winter QC, defending, asked Elphicke: ‘When having those kind of friendly conversations were you touching her at all?’
Elphicke replied: ‘No.’
Asked whether the conversation went any further, Elphicke said: ‘I texted her how much I liked her in many ways and how I had not met someone like her for a very, very long time and how I was really liking her a lot and I wanted us to take our relationship to a different level.’
Mr Winter asked: ‘How do you think now you actually felt about her on that day?’
Elphicke replied: ‘Besotted. I thought she was just amazing. I hadn’t felt like this in years and I said to her when was the last time you felt like this and I thought it was a two way street.’
The former Dover MP told a court that ‘no unusual physical contact took place’ between himself and the Parliamentary worker
When asked by the lawyer if the worker had made clear she did not feel those things for him, Elphicke went on to say: ‘No. We then discussed that we should meet up on her birthday. I was thinking effectively on neutral ground.’
He added: ‘I would only have touched her in a normal, social form of touching.
‘I might have touched her shoulder, her upper arm, I might have touched her hand, but no unusual physical contact took place.’
During the trial, it was revealed that Elphicke, who also denied trying to kiss the worker ‘on an open mouth’, asked the woman to call him when she got back home after the meeting but she allegedly replied: ‘Sorry my phone died. All good. See you tomorrow.’
When asked by Mr Winter if he propositioned her, the MP replied: ‘Yes. I was very struck by her and I lost my head over her. I thought she was lovely and wonderful.’
However when he did not receive an answer from the young woman he told jurors: ‘It was left out there and not answered, really. I thought she was thinking about it.’
Later that month the alleged victim was said to have sent a message to Elphicke which read: ‘Still in bed now. Cat has come in for cuddles.’
‘I thought that was very overt and I thought it was an indication of her interest in me,’ Elphicke said.
‘What do you mean by overt?’ the QC asked.
‘Overtly flirty,’ Elphicke replied.
In court Elphicke told jurors he was ‘testing the waters’ by sending texts to the Parliamentary worker.
The former MP said the pair exchanged emojis and the woman had ‘blown him a kiss’ in one text while he sent her ‘four dancing flamenco lady’ emojis in another.
The former government whip was asked about a message in which he joked with the woman: ‘There’s a lot to be said for a little horse play’ followed by a ‘devil emoji.’
The young woman allegedly texted Elphicke saying: ‘I’ve seen your picture with a horsey’ after he tweeted a picture of himself to which he responded with a suggestive pun, jurors heard.
‘Right. So within four days of realising you have feelings for her you’re suggesting a more physical relationship?’ Ms Marshall asked.
‘I was testing the water and seeing if the exchange carried on in a similar format,’ came the reply.
A court also heard how the former MP sent a message to the woman saying: ‘Am bored’ when she dodged his efforts to engage in ‘sexual activity’ in the apartment while both his wife and children were away, jurors heard.
‘Exactly what you were trying to do was get this young girl over to the King’s Road to get her close to your flat.
‘You had a short window to get her over to your place and you were putting on the pressure,’ Ms Marshall said.
‘No,’ came the reply.
‘What did you think on your version of events was going to happen that morning?’ the prosecutor asked.
‘I hoped she’d come round and we’d spend some time together,’ Elphicke said.
Elphicke denied he was ‘buttering up’ the young Parliamentary worker with compliments before allegedly sexually assaulting her and told jurors that ’emotions started creeping in’ when he became impressed with her.
He said he realised he was developing an attraction towards her when they met for a drink in April.
‘I was becoming a bit more impressed with her and I think that’s when the emotions start creeping in,’ he said.
‘It wasn’t until 18 April that you started to think: ‘Actually I really like her.’ You started to recognise your own feelings, yeah?’ Ms Marshall asked.
‘Yes,’ came the reply.
The former MP told jurors that he again propositioned the young woman about a sexual relationship, but she turned him down and said while she appreciated his friendship she was concerned a romance might ‘end badly’ for her.
He said: ‘I thought we got on really well and enjoyed each other’s company and could we take it forward? She said to me she thought about it very hard.
‘She didn’t want to take it into a relationship because she was concerned it might end badly.’
The former government whip continued: ‘She told me she liked me very much as a friend and we got on very well and it was fantastic but she didn’t want to take it into a relationship because she was concerned it might end badly.
‘She said she was worried about the impact on her and her career prospects and she thought she would lose out.
‘I tried to persuade her that wouldn’t happen, but her mind was made up, and I accepted that position.’
The woman allegedly messaged a friend at the time confiding that Elphicke had ‘pushed’ her until she was forced to ‘hammer’ the point home.
The former Dover MP is also accused of kissing and groping another woman at his Belgravia townhouse in 2007 and chanting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ while chasing her around the house.
Giving evidence about the incident, Elphicke claimed a ‘sexy atmosphere’ developed when he invited the young woman to share a bottle of wine with him and said she was ‘handsy’ and led him to believe that she was open to his advances.
Eloise Marshall QC, prosecuting, asked: ‘What was it about the way she was touching you that led you to believe that she wanted you to kiss her? So that just grabbing your arm there, did she touch your arm?’
Elphicke replied: ‘I don’t recall.
‘Just friendliness, kind of handsy, touchy feely, feeding me chocolate stars and playing this game where we fed each other in turn.’
Speaking about the night, Elphicke said the duo were having ‘what you might describe as a ‘sexy conversation’.
He said: ‘I believe it was silly, flirtatious, I was joking, she was giggling. It was not – as she described it – in that kind of way.’
He added: ‘We got chatting, it was a nice summer’s evening, we went outside in the garden and opened a bottle of wine.’
The former MP went on to describe how the woman became ‘tactile’ as the pair shared some wine at his home and told jurors: ‘She was handsy and feeding me chocolate stars.’
He added: ‘She was feeding me chocolate stars. We were playing this game, feeding each other in turn.’
When asked by the prosecutor if he had chanted the term ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ at the woman, Elphicke replied: ‘I did not say that.’
He also denied smacking her bottom and groping her breasts.
The woman allegedly ran downstairs where she made a distressed call to her sister and recounted the incident over the phone.
She fled the house ‘sickened’ and the father-of-two apologised for his actions the following day, the court heard.
Elphicke accepted the woman ‘hesitated for a period’ after he kissed her and said she became ‘very cross’ moments later but insisted he had thought the interest was mutual.
He claimed he was left sitting on the sofa in a state of shock as it dawned on him that he had had a ‘misapprehension.’
Ms Marshall said: ‘I listened very carefully to what your barrister said to (her) when she gave evidence.
‘He said she hesitated for a period, to think about what happeed. She didn’t get a chance to comment on any positive action on her part.
‘So I’m asking you, what did she do back when you kissed her?’
Elphicke replied: ‘She kissed me back. My belief and my recollection is that she did at least initially respond positively.’
Asked what happened after the woman pulled away, Elphicke said: ‘She was very cross because she didn’t want to be kissed.’
Elphicke said he and the complainant spoke at a future occasion during which he apologised for kissing the woman.
He said: ‘I recall apologising to her. I apologised for being under a misapprehension that we wanted to kiss.’
The former MP, from Dover, denies three counts of sexual assault relating to the two women.
Describing the status of his marriage, Elphicke went on to say: ‘It hangs by a thread. I’ve got a lot of work to do. She’s most upset that I didn’t tell her at the outset.’
He added: ‘I’ve made a complete mess of everything. ‘
During his appearance in court, Elphicke also broke down in tears as he told jurors he was mourning the death of colleague Jo Cox when one of his alleged victims accused him of being in an ‘awful mood.’
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke ‘lied’ to Attorney General Dominic Grieve as he ‘hid behind’ him to protect himself from sex assault claims, court hears
A former Conservative MP ‘lied’ to the attorney general as he ‘hid behind’ him to protect himself from sex assault claims, a court has heard.
Prosecutors claimed Charlie Elphicke used his friend, Dominic Grieve, to protect him when summoned to speak to senior party figures about allegations made about him, without telling Mr Grieve he had propositioned a parliamentary worker.
The Tory insisted he ‘did not lie to him’.
Elphicke is accused of sexually assaulting the employee, in her early 20s, twice in 2016, and is also charged with groping a woman in his home in 2007 while Natalie Elphicke, his wife and successor as Dover MP, was away on work business for the first time since giving birth to their son.
The trial was told earlier that he chased a woman around his house while screaming ‘I’m a naughty Tory, I’m a naughty Tory’, a claim he denied.
Charlie Elphicke and wife wife Natalie Earrive at Southwark Crown Court for his trial on three counts of sexual assault on two women
Jurors heard that Elphicke decided to change his defence in his sexual assault trial during lockdown after his legally trained wife pored over evidence in the case.
Prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC said it was only during the coronavirus pandemic, when Elphicke said papers relating to the case were strewn around his home, that he ‘realised the lies’ he had told to police could be disproved.
Elphicke admitted to police in 2018 that he had an affair with a third woman – not a complainant in this trial – but distanced himself from the parliamentary worker. He said he kissed the first complainant under ‘misapprehension’ but denies sexual assault.
However, entering the witness box at Southwark Crown Court this week, Elphicke told jurors he had lied to police about his true feelings for the parliamentary worker, saying he was ‘besotted’ with her and ‘lost his head’.
He said he did not tell police about propositioning her because he was concerned Mrs Elphicke would – wrongly – think he was having an affair and that it would effectively be the final straw for their marriage.
Elphicke told jurors it was only when his wife, who is not a witness in the case, was going over text messages between her husband and the young woman during lockdown that she accused him of having an affair, partly due to kisses on text messages and a reference to ‘cat cuddles’, he said.
Ms Marshall described it as ‘a pack of lies’, citing only three kisses in more than 1,000 texts between them.
She told the 49-year-old father-of-two: ‘It was only when you and wife went under lockdown you realised the lies you had told about (the parliamentary worker) could be disproved.
‘You’re boxed into a corner and you’ve got no other choice.
‘It’s not (the first and second complainant) who’ve lied, it’s you who’s lied.’
Elphicke was also accused of using his friend, former attorney general Dominic Grieve, to protect him when summoned to speak to senior party figures about the allegations, without telling Mr Grieve he had propositioned the parliamentary worker
Elphicke said: ‘No, I didn’t – I didn’t sexually assault (either woman).’
The prosecutor said: ‘You sexually assaulted both of them in the way they have described, didn’t you?’
Elphicke replied: ‘No.’
The prosecutor also accused Elphicke of using Mr Grieve to protect him when the allegations first arose and that he hadn’t told him he had propositioned the parliamentary worker.
Ms Marshall said: ‘You hid behind the former attorney general having lied to him about what happened with (the woman).’
Elphicke replied: ‘I did not lie to him.’
Elphicke denies three counts of sexual assault.
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke asked young Parliamentary worker to rub sunscreen on him and gave her the ‘shivers’, sex assault trial hears
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke asked a young Parliamentary worker to rub sunscreen on him and gave her the ‘shivers’, a sex assault trial heard.
The woman, then in her 20s, described the Dover MP as ‘clinically insane’ while confiding in friends about the alleged ordeal in 2016.
She spurned his advances when he invited her to apply sun lotion to his face while the pair were alone at his family home, jurors heard.
Charlie Elphicke former MP for Dover and his wife Natalie Elphicke current MP for Dover arrive at Southwark Crown Court as his sexual assault trial continues
The married father-of-two is on trial accused of three counts of sexual assault – one involving a woman in her early 30s at his London home in 2007, and two in 2016 involving a parliamentary worker in her early 20s.
He said the alleged victim had also arranged to visit him at his Belgravia apartment on her birthday earlier that month but told him she was busy last minute.
Prosecutor Eloise Marshall slammed the claim as ‘utter rubbish’ and pointed to texts later in the day in which he told her he was bored and mentioned nothing about cancelled plans.
She said the woman was forced to ‘keep him happy’ while being advised by friends to stay away from him.
The prosecutor said: ‘Is it a coincidence that his sexual interest hots up in that period when he’s got an empty flat and his wife is away and he’s got the opportunity if I can put it that way to take her back there or do you think it wasn’t because he was in love with her, he was sexually interested in her, and he wanted to try it on her, in fact, as we know, sexually assault her?
‘In terms of what happened that night we do know that Charles Elphicke did, even his own words, make an advance on her. Put aside the chasm between what they both say.
‘He remembered very clearly what had happened that night, not because he had told her he was in love with her but because he had sexually assaulted her.
‘Why would she go through the process of telling so many people the exact same lie only to tell them don’t tell anyone?
‘If you’re meant to be meeting someone would you text them saying: ‘I’m bored?’ Or would you say, ‘Where are you?’
‘It’s utter rubbish to suggest that’s what he means. She spends all morning texting her friends worrying about Charles Elphicke. Her real concern on her birthday is keeping Charles Elphicke happy.
‘When she says: ‘The cat’s come in for cuddles.’ It’s suggested that that is the very text that Natalie Elphicke saw which led her to believe he was having an affair. Even at that time she was sending him nice texts to keep him sweet.’
‘Do you think he would have missed an opportunity to take her to his empty house and ask her to put sunscreen on him?
‘On (another) day she’s referring to him as clinically insane. She says: ‘He was trying to hold my hands earlier which gives me the shivers.’
‘Is she lying when she texts that to (her friend)?’
None of the complainants can be identified for legal reasons.
Elphicke admitted to police in 2018 that he had an affair with a third woman – not a complainant in this trial – but distanced himself from the parliamentary worker.
He said he kissed the first complainant under a ‘misapprehension’ but denies sexual assault.
However, entering the witness box this week, Elphicke told jurors he had lied to police about his true feelings for the parliamentary worker, saying he was ‘besotted’ with her and ‘lost his head’.
He said he did not tell police about propositioning her because he was concerned his wife Natalie Elphicke would – wrongly – think he was having an affair and that it would effectively be the final straw for their marriage.
The ex-Tory MP Charlie Elphicke was branded a ‘charming, mercurial’ liar as jurors heard he feigned shock and hid behind others when he was accused of sexual assault.
Elphicke (above, entering court with his wife) admitted to police in 2018 that he had an affair with a third woman – not a complainant in this trial – but distanced himself from the parliamentary worker
Ms Marshall told the court the former government whip was a ‘very charming, mercurial, clever man’ who had deflected scrutiny over the allegations of groping and kissing.
The prosecutor added: ‘He deflects. If you say you’ve done this he doesn’t say no I haven’t, he says no I didn’t, she never complained. His next thing is to hide behind someone else.
‘You may think he’s feigning shock when he’s asked the question were you looking lustfully into her eyes.
‘He is a very charming, mercurial, clever man. He’s a man who was well in control… and the kind of… Atmosphere that [he] would create would have been what people describe as toxic.’
He is also alleged to have shouted: ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ which chasing a young woman around his Belgravia townhouse and smacking her bottom in 2007.
A Parliamentary worker in her 20s then accused him of calling himself ‘naughty’ and shoving his hand down her top in the Palace of Westminster in 2016.
Summing up prosecutor Ms Marshall said: ‘What is the issue in this case? Quite simply, it’s who’s telling the truth.
‘Two women, from very different walks of life, different ages, different jobs – who both suffered very similar assaults at the hands of Charlie Elphicke.
‘It is accepted there is no evidence of collusion. That brings the question – police have these accounts from two women, nine years apart, that are very similar.
‘If you agree that these assaults are similar, the question you ask is could it possibly be a coincidence?’
One of the alleged victims felt the ordeal was only ‘allowed to be real’ after learning he had been accused by a second woman years later, the court heard.
Ms Marshall said the woman had been relieved when she heard the former government whip was facing fresh allegations because ‘something that had been denied was allowed to be real.’
The prosecutor said: ‘For years she couldn’t look at him on TV, couldn’t hear him on radio, couldn’t talk or do anything about it.
‘As soon as she realised he’d been accused of sexual assault she felt relief that it wasn’t just her.
‘She said ‘I didn’t have to protect the family any more because it was in the public domain.’
Elphicke, Dover MP from 2010 until he stood down in 2019 when he was succeeded by his wife, denies all charges.
‘Naughty Tory’ MP Charlie Elphicke ‘is not on trial for being a terrible husband’, his lawyer tells sex attack jury
Charlie Elphicke (pictured outside court with his wife Natalie Elphicke) might be guilty of being a bad husband and for being ‘foolish’, but it does not mean he sexually assaulted two women, his lawyer told a court
‘Naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke might be guilty of being a bad husband and for being ‘foolish’, but it does not mean he sexually assaulted two women, his lawyer told a court.
The former Dover MP, whose wife Natalie Elphicke succeeded him, denies three counts of sexual assault, on women in their early 30s and early 20s – one of which is alleged to have taken place while he was a Member of Parliament.
But the 49-year-old father-of-two acknowledged he had cheated three times with another woman while married to Ms Elphicke, who was elected to his former seat in 2019 after he stepped down.
He also said he propositioned one of the complainants in the case during the couple’s marriage, the court heard.
However His defence counsel, Ian Winter QC, told jurors in the trial at Southwark Crown Court that they may decide his client had behaved ‘foolishly’, but said that did not make him a criminal.
Mr Winter quoted Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as he told jurors in his closing speech: ‘Fools are as Shakespeare said in Twelfth Night like husbands as pilchards are to herrings; the husband’s the bigger fool.
‘You might think that at the heart of this case lies a very ancient foolishness of husbands.
‘If Mr Elphicke was on trial here for behaving foolishly you might find it easy to convict.
‘If Mr Elphicke was on trial for cheating on his wife, treating her badly, you might find it easy to convict.’
He added: ‘You may despise that level of low morality – but you put that to one side.
‘He is on trial for sexually assaulting two women, that is the allegation.’
Elphicke denies groping the first complainant, a woman he invited to have a drink with him at his London home in 2007, while his wife was away for the first time since the birth of their young son.
The complainant described Elphicke kissing her, grabbing her breast, and then chasing her around the house chanting, ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.
Elphicke told the court he kissed the woman ‘under a misapprehension’ after she became ‘tactile’ towards him, but said while she initially responded ‘positively’ she later said she did not want to kiss him so he stopped.
He denies sexually assaulting her and chasing her around his house.
The second complainant, a young parliamentary worker, said Elphicke groped her breast following a drink in Westminster in April 2016.
The following month, Elphicke was said to have been in the company of the woman again when he slid his hand up her thigh towards her groin.
Both women said they were not attracted to Elphicke, who said he was not attracted to the woman in her 30s.
But he told jurors he ‘lost my head’ over the parliamentary worker with whom he had become ‘besotted’ and wanted a sexual relationship with.
The court heard Elphicke ‘gambled’ on sexual assault charges against him being dropped in order to hide his feelings for the parliamentary worker.
Mr Winter argued that the married father-of-two lied to police about falling for her because he had already admitted having sex with another woman and kissing a third.
The lawyer said yet another indiscretion would have been ‘curtains’ for the couple’s marriage if Ms Elphicke had found out.
The former Dover MP initially downplayed his attraction towards the staffer when questioned by officers about her after they received complaints about his alleged sexual misconduct.
Mr Winter said the former government whip is still to this day struggling to salvage his relationship after the ‘hurt’ caused his spouse.
Jurors already heard Elphicke told police he had an affair with another woman, not a complainant in this case, between 2015 and 2017.
None of the three women can be named for legal reasons.
In her closing speech, prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC said: ‘Charlie Elphicke is an accomplished liar, and he assaulted these women in exactly the way they described.
‘He is guilty of all three counts on this indictment, and you can be sure of that.’