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  1. ITV Report

Tory MP Charlie Elphicke suspended over 'serious allegations'

Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has had the whip suspended following serious allegations that have been referred to the police, Tory chief whip Julian Smith has said.

Mr Elphicke denied any wrongdoing, tweeting that he had not been made aware of the allegations.

"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," he said.

The Dover MP was elected in 2010 and is a member of the Commons Treasury Select Committee.

He was a government whip under former prime minister David Cameron between 2015-16 and is a member of the European Research Group of pro-Brexit Tory MPs.

His suspension is the latest development in an abuse scandal that has seen a series of MPs subject to allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary after admitting his behaviour had 'fallen below' expected standards Credit: PA

On Wednesday Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary, after he admitted his own behaviour had "fallen below the high standards required" by his role.

He later denied allegations he had made inappropriate sexual comments to Cabinet colleague Andrea Leadsom.

Labour too has faced allegations, with MP Kelvin Hopkins suspended over claims of inappropriate behaviour made against him by a party activist, allegations he has strongly denied.

Ms Etemadzadeh said she felt powerless after Labour ignored her complaint Credit: ITV News

Ava Etemadzadeh told ITV News Mr Hopkins "hugged me very tightly and rubbed his crotch on me" following an event at Essex University in 2014 and sent inappropriate text messages months later.

The 27-year-old said she reported the alleged behaviour to the Labour party, but her complaint was "ignored".

"I felt powerless and isolated," Ms Etemadzadeh said.

"Not only did they ignore it, but a few months after it they promoted Kelvin Hopkins to the shadow cabinet and actually that made me feel very disillusioned in Corbyn's leadership."

In a 12-point statement rejecting Ms Etemadzadeh's allegations, Mr Hopkins said: "I absolutely and categorically deny that I in any way engaged in any such inappropriate conduct."

On Friday another Labour MP, Clive Lewis, denied an allegation that he groped a woman at the party's annual conference, saying the person who made the claim was either "lying" or "wrong".