Charlie Elphicke hits out at ‘fundamentally wrong’ suspension process
Charlie Elphicke has described the process which led to him being suspended from the Conservative party as “fundamentally wrong”.
The Dover MP had the whip suspended by the party and was reported to police last week over "serious allegations" against him.
However, he claims he still does not know what the allegations against him are and said he is facing a “denial of justice”.
Speaker John Bercow also warned people should know what the allegations stacked against them were and should not find out from the media.
He added it was “predictable” sexual harassment allegations would lead to deaths, such as in the case of Welsh government minister Carl Sargeant, who was found dead earlier this week after being fired four days earlier.
He said those who are accused of wrongdoing should not be treated worse than “way we behave in relation to terrorists” as “we believe in a fair trial”.
Mr Elphicke tweeted on the night he was suspended from the party.
Now in a statement to his local Tory party, he claimed he was phone by a journalist on Friday evening and told he was suspended and “minutes later” was called by the chief whip “telling me that serious allegations had been made against me earlier that week and that these had been passed to the police”.
“I asked what the allegations were and he would not tell me. He only said that he and the Prime Minister had decided the whip should be suspended from me. As we spoke, the news spread across the national media.
“And that is all I can tell you. Since then I have had no further information. And here we are.”
“So, extraordinary as it may seem, I am no wiser now than I was on Friday evening when the chief whip called me.”
He added: “The fact is that this whole area of reporting misconduct and managing allegations of misconduct is a mess.
“I have every sympathy with people who have been harassed or victimised and feel they have nowhere to turn. That is a denial of justice.
“It is also a denial of justice when people who have had allegations made against them, lose their job or their party whip without knowing what those allegations are.”
Mr Bercow spoke about Mr Sargeant’s death at an event in London last night.
He said: “In terms of protection of the frailties of the accused, I think that’s incredibly important in light of what has happened in Wales, but it was predictable.
“Even if people are suspected of wrongdoing, they may well need, and should be given help, understanding and support.
“For example it may be, I am not referring to any particular case, it may be that someone who is suspected of committing, or has committed an offence, or even something that is not an offence or is widely regarded as abuse, such a person might have problems in his or her life and need support in tackling that, or living with it, or managing it. I think that is part of our responsibility.”
He added if an MPs has the whip removed should, then “for god’s sake [let] that member is entitled to know of what he or she is accused”
“That member is entitled to learn of the judgment that has been made about their suspension or dismissal first hand, not first through the media.”