Disgraced ex-Tory Charlie Elphicke applies for Universal Credit as he's given 10 months to pay £35k

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke. Credit: Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Disgraced former MP Charlie Elphicke has been given 10 months to pay the £35,000 he owes after his sentence for sexually assaulting two women.

The former Conservative politician is applying for Universal Credit, Uxbridge Magistrates' Court was told this afternoon, as he appeared at a hearing over unpaid prosecution costs.

The ex-Dover MP told the court he was unemployed and so unable to pay the £35,000 he owes following his sentence for sexually assaulting two women.

Magistrates had agreed to adjourn the case until today, while Elphicke, 50, waited for his benefits claim to be assessed.

On Friday, he appeared in court, where he asked for more time to “get back on my feet,” and was told to pay the money back by September 15, 2022.

The court heard that Elphicke, of Fulham, south-west London, had not yet paid anything towards the costs.

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke, with MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke, leaving Southwark Crown Court during his initial trial

Elphicke was jailed for two years last September after being found guilty of three counts of sexual assault following a month-long trial.

He was released half-way through his sentence earlier this year.

The former Government whip, who is on licence until next year, had been summoned to attend Uxbridge Magistrates’ Crown Court on the 19th of November over the unpaid costs.

The court had last month heard Elphicke received £51,000 from the sale of his marital home, but most of the money had been used “in legal fees and to pay rent”.

On Friday, the court heard Elphicke, a former lawyer, has just under £2,000 in his bank account, with no other assets, investments or shares.

Elphicke told the court: “What I have to do is get back on my feet, it is difficult to have a full view of the spectrum at the moment, I’m doing everything I can.”

He added: “I hope to earn money in due course but at the moment I haven’t been able to.”

Asked what he would do to earn the money, the former Government whip replied: “Writing.”

Former Dover MP Charlie Elphicke.

Questioned on whether he could borrow the money, Elphicke said: “I don’t have enough money or prospects to challenge this case.”

The defendant said he had “actively engaged” with Fulham job centre about a future career, and that he had been seeking Universal Credit.He added: “I’m in the court’s hands.”

Magistrate Davinderpal Kooner said: “We have listened to everything and taken into account your situation.

“We have no desire to set people up to fail, so we ask that you pay this money back by the end of your sentence on September 15 2022.”

Elphicke was also asked to attend a hearing at the same court on March 25 2022 to check on his progress in repaying the fees.

Last month, his barrister Ian Winter QC said his client had “a fair bit of debt”, and that his estranged wife, Natalie Elphicke, now the MP for Dover, loaned him £100,000 to pay for legal bills.

Earlier this year, Elphicke lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his jail term after his lawyers argued the sentence was too long.

The sentencing judge described Elphicke as a “sexual predator” who used his “success and respectability as a cover” and told a “pack of lies”.

During his trial, jurors heard how he had asked one of his victims about bondage and sex, then kissed her and groped her breast before chasing her around his home, chanting: “I’m a naughty Tory.”

In the wake of the case, the Commons Standards Committee found five Conservatives, including his wife Natalie, had breached the code of conduct over an “egregious” attempt to influence his legal proceedings.

Elphicke became a Government whip during David Cameron’s premiership in 2015 but returned to the backbenches when Theresa May came to power the following year.

He had the party whip suspended in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault first emerged but it was reinstated a year later for a crucial confidence vote in then-prime minister Mrs May.

The whip was withdrawn again the following summer when the Crown Prosecution Service announced its decision to charge Elphicke.