10 January 2022

MP found to have been raped by politician ex husband says he was ‘a charmer’ at first

10 January 2022

A Conservative MP found to have been raped and physically abused by her politician ex-husband has told how she thought he was an “all-round good guy” when they began dating.

Kate Griffiths MP for Burton in Staffordshire, said she initially found Andrew Griffiths to be a “charmer”.

But she said she was a “shadow” of her former self by the end of the relationship.

Mr Griffiths used to be the MP for Burton and the minister for small business, and once worked as former prime minister Theresa May’s chief of staff.

He resigned in 2018 after a Sunday newspaper reported he had sent “depraved” messages to two constituents.

The Griffiths, both 51, became embroiled in private family court proceedings, centred on a child, after separating.

During those proceedings, a family court judge concluded that, on the balance of probability, Mr Griffiths had raped and physically abused Ms Griffiths.

Ms Griffiths was speaking on a Tortoise Media podcast after Court of Appeal judges ruled the rape finding could be made public.

She said the appeal judges’ ruling had given her a “feeling of freedom”.

Andrew Griffiths (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Ms Griffiths said the pair met in 2006 before Mr Griffiths became an MP, and began a relationship 18 months later.

“He was great, he was funny, he was a charmer,” said Ms Griffiths.

“I thought he was an all-round good guy.

“He was very attentive.”

Ms Griffiths said people would say they were an “ideal couple”.

She added: “By the end of the relationship, I had just become a shadow of my former self.”

Three appeal judges last month ruled the family court judge’s findings could be made public after a 12-month legal fight by two media organisations – Tortoise and PA Media.

Ms Griffiths had waived her right to anonymity and supported the fight by journalists.

She said publication would allow her to help constituents.

It’s like a feeling of freedom. I am no longer silenced by the family courts. I can speak out

“It’s like a feeling of freedom,” she said.

“I am no longer silenced by the family courts.

“I can speak out.”

Mr Griffiths had “strongly denied” allegations made against him and argued that the family court judge’s findings should not be made public.

He said the judge’s findings should stay private in order to protect the child at the centre of the case.

Judges ruled that neither the gender nor the name of the child at the centre of proceedings could be revealed in media reports.

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