Politics

Ex-minister denies concealing Natalie Elphicke lobbying

Ex-minister denies concealing Natalie Elphicke lobbying

After Mrs Elphicke defected from the Tories to Labour last week, the Sunday Times reported that she had raised her husband’s case with Sir Robert in July 2020.

He told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme the meeting “related to the nature of the listing of the defendant’s case, first on after the Covid lockdown, and whether or not it was appropriate for that to be listed in a way that would increase publicity on the case”.

“My view was very straightforward – it is not a matter for politicians or the lord chancellor to even attempt to interfere or intervene on decisions made by independent judges,” he said.

“That was made very clear and that was the end of the matter.”

Pressed over why he did not raise the issue at the time, he said: “The matter was dealt with there and then… It’s a matter now for the Labour Party.”

He added that Conservative whips, who are responsible for party discipline, were aware “because I was cross and I didn’t think it was an appropriate approach and I certainly wouldn’t have had a meeting on that basis”.

Sir Robert said the meeting had only come to light now because he was asked by the Sunday Times about it.

“It’s certainly bizarre in the extreme for people to suggest that somehow I have done something wrong or concealed something,” he said.


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