Wife of ex-Tory MP Charlie Elphicke to contest his Dover seat | General election 2019

Wife of ex-Tory MP Charlie Elphicke to contest his Dover seat | General election 2019

The former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke will not stand as the party’s candidate in Dover at the general election, but his wife will contest the seat.

Elphicke, 48, who has represented the Kent constituency since 2010, lost the Tory whip in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault – which he denies – were referred to the police.

He was readmitted to the party last December before a confidence vote in then-prime minister Theresa May, but was again suspended when he was formally charged in July this year.

His wife, Natalie, was formally selected as the Conservative candidate for the seat in a vote by local members on Friday.

Elphicke is accused of a sexual assault against one woman in 2007 and two assaults against a different woman within a week of each other in 2016. He denies the allegations and has stood down to fight them in court.

He said: “Representing Dover and Deal has been the greatest honour and privilege of my life. I’m incredibly proud of what our Conservative team has achieved working together for our community.

“I am standing down today with huge regret, because it seems that we no longer abide by the basic British value of an individual being deemed innocent unless and until proven otherwise in a fair trial.”

Natalie Elphicke, a finance lawyer who works as a volunteer with a local night shelter, said: “I am delighted to have been adopted as the Conservative candidate for Dover and Deal.

“Our Conservative team has achieved so much since 2010, and I am looking forward to building on these tremendous achievements.

“This election is about the future, and the choice is simple. To get Brexit done and move forward with the Conservatives, or stay in Europe forever and go backwards with Jeremy Corbyn.”

The chairman of Dover and Deal Conservatives Association, Keith Single, said: “We considered matters most carefully and it is clear to us that Natalie will be an outstanding candidate for the Conservatives in Dover and Deal.

“She has loyally and effectively campaigned for the Conservatives over the past 30 years, and with us in Dover and Deal for over a decade. Nationally, she has led a government review into housing policy and been director of the Conservative party’s policy forum.”


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