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Tory MP suspended over ‘serious allegations’

Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has said he does not know t..

Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has said he does not know the nature of the "serious allegations" his party says have been referred to police.

The Dover and Deal MP was suspended late on Friday, Tory chief whip Julian Smith confirmed, but there was no elaboration on the claims at the centre of the action.

The senior backbencher denied any wrongdoing and said the media had been informed of his suspension before he knew of it.

He tweeted: "The party tipped off the press before telling me of my suspension.

"I am not aware of what the alleged claims are and deny any wrongdoing."

:: Sky Views: End Westminster's toxic culture

Mr Elphicke, 46, has been the MP for Dover and Deal since 2010, and was a government whip between 2015 and 2016, standing down from that role after Theresa May replaced David Cameron as Prime Minister.

He also sits on the Commons Treasury Select Committee and is a member of the European Research Group of pro-Brexit Tory MPs.

The allegations come as Westminster is rocked by claims that some think will be "bigger than expenses".

Image:Michael Fallon resigned as Defence Secretary after allegations about his past behaviour

The scandal claimed its first Cabinet member last week, when Michael Fallon quit as defence secretary, saying that his behaviour had "fallen below" the high standards expected of him.

Conservative MPs Damian Green and Mark Garnier are both facing investigations over allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Mr Green denies making "any sexual advances" towards a female journalist, while Mr Garnier admitted asking an ex-aide to buy sex toys.

Sir Michael Fallon's resignation letter
Image:Fallon said his behaviour had

:: A week in Westminster: Sex scandal timeline

On the Labour side, veteran MP Kelvin Hopkins has been suspended pending an investigation into claims of inappropriate touching and sending suggestive text messages, claims he "absolutely and categorically" denies.

Kelvin Hopkins
Image:Kelvin Hopkins has been suspended pending an investigation

Labour MP Clive Lewis has also been accused of touching a Labour activist inappropriately during the Labour 2017 conference.

He told Sky News he is denying the allegations "100%".

"I think it's right and proper that people should feel confident in Westminster and beyond, that if there's something that has happened, if there are allegations, they should feel confident in the process, they can come forward.

"We know there have been some serious allegations that have been made against politicians, however, it also means there are going to be allegations which aren't substantiated, which don't stand up.

Labour MP Clive Lewis denies claims of inappropriate behaviour
Video:'I haven't done anything wrong' says Labour MP

"All I know is I don't, as a rule when I greet people, grab their bottom, with hundreds of party delegates around

"It's just not what I do, it's not how I roll.

"So this person is either misunderstanding or they're lying, and it's not great but I also understand why this is happening."

He said that, despite a "growing gulf between politicians and the public, this is why in those situations people like myself and others will think twice before giving someone a hug back.

"It's sad but that's where we are."

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