Wife of former Tory MP accused of sexual assault to take his place as election candidate
The wife of a former Tory MP charged with sexual assault has been chose by the party to stand as an election candidate in his place.
Natalie Elphicke will represent the Conservatives in Dover and Deal after being selected by local party members.
Her husband Charlie, who has been MP for the seat since 2010, said he was standing down to fight three charges of sexual assault against two women.
Reacting to her selection on Twitter, Mrs Elphicke tweeted: "Delighted to have been selected unanimously to fight my home seat of Dover & Deal tonight for @Conservatives to Get Brexit Done, deliver better healthcare and more jobs & money."
Mr Elphicke was suspended from the Conservative Party when he first faced the accusations against him two years ago.
He had the party whip restored shortly before a confidence vote in Theresa May's leadership of the Conservative Party last year, but lost it again in the summer when he was charged.
Announcing his decision to stand down as a candidate in the election, he said: "I have been subjected to daily falsehoods and vile abuse - from the malfeasance of Cabinet ministers to the malice of Twitter trolls.
"This has had the cumulative effect of jeopardising my right to a fair trial on charges I know to be baseless.
"I would like to thank our Conservative association, my dedicated team of staff, the people of Dover and Deal and my family for their unwavering kindness throughout this difficult time."
Keith Single, chairman of the local Conservative association, said Mrs Elphicke would be an "outstanding" candidate.