Tory MP suspended over 'serious allegations'

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in central London.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in central London. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Britain's ruling Conservatives suspended a member of Parliament over unspecified "serious allegations", as Prime Minister Theresa May announced a new party code of conduct in response to a growing sexual harassment scandal.

The action was taken against lawmaker Charlie Elphicke "following serious allegations that have been referred to the police", announced chief whip Julian Smith on Friday.

Mr Elphicke said on Twitter: "I am not aware of what the alleged claims are and deny any wrongdoing."

The move comes amid a deepening row over sexual abuse and harassment at Westminster, which early last week forced Mr Michael Fallon to resign as defence secretary. He had earlier admitted to touching a journalist's knee 15 years ago.

Two other ministers remain under investigation for alleged inappropriate behaviour, including Mrs May's de facto deputy Damian Green, who denies any wrongdoing.

The opposition Labour Party meanwhile confirmed the launch of a probe after a woman accused Labour MP Clive Lewis of groping her at the party's annual conference in Brighton, reported The Telegraph on Friday.

Mr Lewis has vehemently denied the allegation. The claim comes after the suspension of another MP, Mr Kelvin Hopkins, pending an investigation into claims he sent suggestive texts and acted inappropriately.

Mrs May announced a new code of conduct on Friday for Conservatives, from lawmakers through to local party officials, as well as a new complaints procedure.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 05, 2017, with the headline 'Tory MP suspended over 'serious allegations''. Subscribe