Turncoat MP Natalie Elphicke has dismissed claims she lobbied ministers on behalf of her sex pest husband as “nonsense.”

Labour’s newest backbencher has been accused of asking Sir Robert Buckland, the then justice secretary, to move the date of Charlie Elphicke’s criminal trial for sex offences.

The Sunday Times reports that Ms Elphicke told him she felt it was unfair that his case was the first to be heard at Southwark crown court after lockdown and that it was being overseen by Lady Justice Whipple, who, as presiding judge of the southeastern circuit, was one of the most senior judges in the land.

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Sir Robert objected, the paper said, insisting the conversation could go no further, and declined to help.

He said: “She was told in no uncertain terms that it would have been completely inappropriate to speak to the judge about the trial at all.”

Ms Elphicke was elected in 2019, succeeding Charlie, who had the Tory whip removed after he was charged by the Crown Prosecution Service with three counts of sexual assault against two women.

Offences included chasing a woman around his home, chanting “I’m a naughty Tory.”

He was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison Ms Elphicke attacked the two women after his conviction.

She claimed Charlie was “charming, wealthy, charismatic and successful — attractive, and attracted to, women."

"All things that in today’s climate made him an easy target for dirty politics and false allegations," she said.

She was also suspended from the Commons in 2021 for "attempting to improperly influence judicial proceedings" in her ex-husband's trial.

The Standards Committee said the MPs had still sought to influence the outcome of the hearing and “risked giving the impression that elected politicians can bring influence to bear on the judiciary, out of public view and in a way not open to others”.

Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth questioned the timing of the accusations on the BBC's Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme.

"I don't understand why the Lord Chancellor at the time did not raise this and why he's raised it now," Mr Ashworth said.

Asked why Tory MPs did not raise the issue at the time, Lord Cameron, the Foreign Fecretary, told the BBC: “I’ve only just seen this story in the papers, I’ve got no idea about it.”

He added: “Natalie Elphicke is now a Labour press office problem. I imagine their phones are ringing off the hook this morning. It’s not a Conservative problem anymore.”

"All I know is that Natalie Elphicke's defection said a little bit about Natalie Elphicke, but I think it said rather a lot more about the Labour Party," he added.

Labour MP Zarah Sultana said she had questions about Ms Elphicke's defection.

Natalie Elphicke, however, is an interesting one because she is a former paid-up member of the ERG [Brexit backing European Research Group], she voted for Liz Truss in the leadership, she’s at odds when it comes to fire-and-rehire, has attacked trade unions and their activities not great on the environment either.

“So unless she’s had the biggest Damascene conversion ever, I just don’t buy it.”

Ms Sultana added: “And it’s concerning as well in terms of conversations I’ve had within the PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party], especially in the Women’s PLP on the comments that she’s made about her ex-husband and the trial.”

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Responding to the latest allegations, a spokesman for Natalie Elphicke said: "This is nonsense.

“It's certainly true that Mr Elphicke continued to be supported after his imprisonment by a large number of Conservative MPs who had known him for a long time, including some who visited him and independently lobbied on his behalf, which was nothing to do with Natalie."

A Labour Party spokesman had said: "Natalie Elphicke totally rejects that characterisation of the meeting.

"If Robert Buckland had any genuine concerns about the meeting, then he should have raised them at the time, rather than making claims to the newspapers now Natalie has chosen to join the Labour Party."

Meanwhile, in a separate report, the Observer claims Ms Elphicke was “bitter” about being denied a ministerial job.

The paper quotes Tory sources who say she was considered for a government job first by Liz Truss and then under Rishi Sunak, but on both accounts was unsuccessful.