North Thanet MP one of five under investigation by parliamentary standards commissioner over letter to judges

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale is one of five Members of Parliament who are under investigation in connection with an attempt to lobby judges ahead of a court hearing for disgraced Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke.

The parliamentary commissioner for standards, Kathryn Stone, is investigating Roger Gale, Adam Holloway, Bob Stewart, Theresa Villiers and Charlie Elphicke’s estranged wife, Natalie, who currently holds the Dover and Deal seat.

The allegations are that the group used official Commons stationery to write to judges in a bid to get intervention so references of support could be admitted when former MP Charlie Elphicke was sentenced on sexual assault charges last September.

The disgraced Tory was jailed for two years after he was found guilty of sexual assault against two women.

Kathryn Stone is investigating the five for “use of facilities [stationery] provided from the public purse” and for “actions causing significant damage to the reputation of the house as a whole, or of its members generally.”

The identity of the group became public after a request was lodged by the Guardian newspaper last year.

Sir Roger said he was unable to comment on the matter at this time but, during a speech in the House yesterday (May 11) the MP made fleeting reference to having a ‘great deal more to say’ on the matter of the courts and the balance of power with the Executive and the legislature s ‘when at liberty to do so.’

He also told the House: “No matter how high or how mighty, we have to do what we believe to be right and this Member of Parliament will continue to do it.”

When the Commissioner upholds a complaint, she can resolve it herself if the MP admits their error and apologises. In serious cases she submits a formal report to the Select Committee on Standards, for them to consider a sanction.

The Commissioner’s full report is always published, along with the evidence, unless it relates to an investigation under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. These are treated confidentially.

31 Comments

    • What a waste of public money this is, investigating a waste of public money for allegedly using a piece of paper paid for by the tax payer.

      Could the left get any lower?

      Now we know why Labour suffered heavy losses in the GE and LE.

      Kathryn Stone is a heavy labour member and supporter.

      • Possibly perverting the course of justice, via using your political position to apply pressure on a judge is hardly a trivial matter, doesn’t matter whether the politicians doing it are right, left or centre.

        Character references have zero business in a criminal trial & what does it say that Elphicke-whose sexual hounding of women was apparently the worst kept secret at Tory gatherings then has these individuals lining up to say what a great guy he is & how on earth could one consider a character reference from his wife? How could she be remotely impartial when she had a vested interest personally & financially in keeping him out of jail? She as you might recall appallingly made it clear her husband was a fine, upstanding individual innocent of all charges & the women were a bunch of greedy liars, even though she knew full well what he was.

        • “character references have zero business in a criminal trial” – Absurd. They have long been a part of criminal proceedings and evidence for both determining innocence or guilt, and in mitigation for sentencing. Not sure that if my wife gave an impartial character reference for me it would be a total hagiography, as, like most people, I’m not perfect; in fact, she might well be the best person for a third party to approach for a charcater reference about myself.

      • What is a waste of money is the government spending nearly 3 million of taxpayer cash on a US style briefing room & then a couple of months later saying it will no longer be used for that purpose & will just be a general meeting room. The government giving their buddies huge PPE contracts etc during the pandemic-even if they have zero expertise &/or cannot deliver or deliver inferior products that are still sitting in storage at an extra cost. How about court expenditure because your hero cannot be figged to pay a piddling 535 quid bill for services rendered? All the money wasted doing up his flat etc-because he considers John Lewis to be too lowbrow?

        • I have to confess that I have some sympathy with those who see John Lewis as “too lowbrow.” Hey, how much could the government save if Buckingham Palace et cetera and the royals got all their furniture from Ikea…!

      • This was an attempt to influence a Judge, that is why the investigation is being carried out! Its not about a piece of paper, albeit it was probably used to lend weight to interference!

  1. He also told the House: “No matter how high or how mighty, we have to do what we believe to be right and this Member of Parliament will continue to do it.” So apparently he & his cohorts believe trying to exert undue influence on the courts to clear his perverted, sex offender buddy to be the right thing to do & damn the judiciary as he is more important in his own mind-says it all about the Tory moral compass. Can remember Prince Charles & various others writing letters in support of paedophile Bishop Ball, that hindered a police investigation.

  2. Abuse of status, rather like Boris disregarding his CCJ. Send the bailiffs to No 10/11. What he owes is trouser money for lunch!

      • Yep all to curry favour with the Americans , so that funding of the IRA from the USA was curtailed enabling Blair to achieve his little footnote in the history books with the good friday agreement.

    • Though there was the justice secretary that kept his job after “alledgedly” sniffing drugs off of rent boys buttocks. Who evaded all sorts of questioning under the guise of ill health , until he was eventually sidelined.

      If using official stationary to write a letter of support is questionable how should Keith Vaz’s behaviour be viewed?

    • What an embarrassment this man is, amazed anybody still listens to anything he says & takes it remotely seriously. The only reason he remains in power is because of the total loony leftie Corbyn & the insipid current Labour leader meaning there is zero competition.

      • Or perhaps because Conservative governments deliver what the people who voted them into power want…

  3. What an unprincipled shower this government is turning out to be.
    It should be no surprise, considering who its leader is.
    A serial liar, cheater and philanderer, he sets the tone.
    Then you have ex-Tory PM David Cameron trying to pressure the government into favouring his company. Over 70 phone calls and texts to ministers and civil servants.
    And MP for Thanet North, Sir RodgerOak, trying to pressure a judge.
    And MP for Thanet South Craig Mackinlay, not guilty of election fraud, but his campaign manager was found guilty on two counts. Clearly, it’s absolutely reasonable that an MP wouldn’t have a clue what his campaign manager was doing.

  4. In addition, how is Roger allowed to be the self professed spokesperson for RSP? A private company he makes his pet project and as a consequence, offers NO support to those of his constituents who are horrified at the prospect of a giant cargo hub. We are tho, according to Roger, ‘subversive incomers’.

  5. Gale wrote to a Judge about a DRUNK IN CHARGE PROSECUTION following a collision, with loss of an eye, PLEADING for the perpetrator, that he was not BANNED FROM DRIVING as he was using work van! Tough! I dealt with another DRUNKEN DRIVER’s victims that day 3pm at the junction of Chapel Road Ramsgate a mature couple were in a mini coming up Hi St drunk male speeding straight out of Chatham St smashed into them and tried to leave scene I got his door open aged in his 40s then returned to give immediate first aid to his innocent victims until help came. Fortunately the cctv on the corner confirmed my version as a witness so I was spared Court attendance.On writing to the P.M. about Tory policy in support of Police prosecution of drunks using vehicles with Gale not supporting it, I received a polite letter stating as a lowly backbencher nothing could be done! Does not give confidence in our politicians who are supposed to uphold standards does it?

  6. I’ve got photos of Boris’s flat decorations at No 11 at cost of £200,000 so who is fibbing, and trying to con us? All seem tarred with the same brush. Think this might just hit the fan soon, so much for alleged £58k I think he’s admitted to so far he was advised well over 6 weeks ago about fudging his figures, need I say more.They seem able to just do what they like and then lie about it, all parties seem as bad in this respect.

  7. The MP representing Riveroak, the US property developer, caught in another dodgy promotion of a highly dubious undertaking.

    Why am I not shocked..

  8. Gale can do whatever he wants as our MP and the blue rinse brigade from the coast will constantly vote him back in at every election.

    He doesn’t need to change his ways.

    • Has it not always been the same in every political party over the years? Its just part of the game.

    • It’s called democracy. Do you have a problem with free and fair democratic elections? I would like to state for the record that neither I nor my wife have a blue rinse.

  9. “When the Commissioner upholds a complaint, she can resolve it herself if the MP admits their error and apologises.”

    So all they have to do is say whoops, didn’t mean to get caught, sorry about that?

  10. Pity about Sir Roger, if this is true. He almost persuaded me that he had changed from a hard-line Tory into someone who actually cared about his constituents.

    But it looks like “leopard ” and “spots” etc

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