UK politics – live: Labour MP Elphicke apologises for comments about ex-husband’s sexual assault victims

New Labour MP Natalie Elphicke has apologised for defending her ex-husband after he was found guilty of sexual assault.

Ms Elphicke’s former husband and predecessor as MP for Dover, Charlie Elphicke, was convicted in 2020 of sexually assaulting two women and jailed for two years.

She ended the marriage after his conviction but supported his unsuccessful appeal, saying Mr Elphicke had been “attractive, and attracted to women” and “an easy target for dirty politics and false allegations”.

Ms Elphicke defected to Labour on Wednesday, crossing the floor of the Commons at the beginning of prime minister’s questions.

There is growing backlash to the move amid Labour MPs, one female Labour MP telling The Independent there was a “collective rage” against Sir Keir over the decision to admit her.

But some Labour members have backed their newest MP, with party chair Anneliese Dodds saying she is a “natural fit” for the party, despite her previous criticism.

On Thursday in emerged that Ms Elphicke had sent out a leaflet attacking the Labour Party just a day before defecting to become a Labour MP.

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