Help us reach our campaign target: Become a member
The Bristol Cable

Chris Skidmore, Kingswood MP, declined to give statement in staffer’s sexual assault case, says detective

Chris Skidmore’s former parliamentary aide was cleared of sexually assaulting a teenager. The MP says he offered his full support to the police investigation. But a detective claims he declined to provide a police statement.


A serving metropolitan police officer has said that Chris Skidmore, Conservative MP for Kingswood, refused to provide a police statement in a sexual assault investigation into one of his parliamentary aides. 

Skidmore strongly denies he failed to provide police with all necessary evidence. His former staffer, Callum Warren, was found not guilty of all four counts of assault on 5 November at Southwark Crown Court. The court testimony by the Detective Constable would have gone entirely unreported had it not been for one article in the conservative-leaning Spectator magazine.

‘On the 23rd of August this year, he [Chris Skidmore MP] provided me with an email declining to provide a statement,’ DC O’Callaghan said under oath at Southwark Crown Court earlier this month.

“He provided me with an email declining to provide a statement”

DC Sam O’Callaghan

DC O’Callaghan testified during the prosecution of Mr Warren. The jury would find him not guilty of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female parliamentary staffer from a neighbouring constituency office.

Prosecutors alleged that Warren assaulted the teenage girl on three occasions; once at the Conservative Party election celebrations in 2017, a second time in the toilets at Westminster, and on the third occasion, in the parliamentary office of his then boss, MP Chris Skidmore.

Prosecutor Catherine Farrelly told Southwark crown court the alleged sexual assaults happened amid an environment of “late finishes and a lot of drinking” among the parliamentary staffers.

Beside the trial casting a spotlight on cocaine use and heavy drinking by the parliamentary staffers, the case has raised questions about how helpful Skidmore was during the course of the investigation.

DC O’Callaghan told the jury that Skidmore provided the police with notes from a private meeting he had with Warren when the allegations were first put to him. However the MP declined to provide a statement when requested, claimed the detective.

A question which remains unanswered, is if a statement could have served as useful evidence for the jury; detailing how Warren first responded to the allegations.

In court, DC O’Callaghan described requests for evidence from the Conservative MP for Kingswood, saying:

“I had various contact with him. Initially he provided me with paperwork in relation to Mr Warren and his interview with him. He agreed to provide me with a statement, dates were proposed but weren’t suitable.”

The officer said they continued to email Skidmore and his office:

‘These were eventually either not responded to or ignored. On the 23rd of August this year, he provided me with an email declining to provide a statement.’

However, a Conservative party spokesperson told the Spectator:

“Chris Skidmore reported these allegations immediately to the Whips Office and the Parliamentary Authorities. When this became a police matter, Chris immediately suspended the individual and voluntarily provided the police with the notes from the interview he had conducted with the accused. Chris Skidmore offered his full support to the police investigation, complying fully with what was required and his actions allowed the case to be handled in the appropriate way.”

When asked to respond to the detective’s claims that the MP did not provide a statement at the police’s request, neither Skidmore or the Conservative Party Press Office responded to the Cable. 

A Metropolitan police spokesperson, meanwhile, said: “We do not comment on not guilty verdicts.”

Stay tuned for more General Election coverage. Sign up to this newsletter to not miss a story.


Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Listen: Love Her – how Weekenders made space for women’s music

As part of this series of podcasts about underrepresented parts of Bristol’s history, this is a homage to Weekenders, a women's music night that started in the late 90s.

VIDEO: Jeremy Corbyn on local news, media ownership and politics for the many

We caught up with the ex-Labour leader at June's Bristol Transformed festival, to discuss his Peace & Justice Project’s local news initiative and whether making jam is, in fact, political.

Listen: Bristol Unpacked, with local political fixer Kelvin Blake taking a peek inside the city’s Labour party machine

Former councillor, now Labour campaign manager Kelvin Blake offers an inside perspective on the workings of power in our city.

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with new Green leader Emma Edwards on being the biggest political force in these parts

The Greens are now the council's biggest party, but given their limited experience of being in power, how will they work with others under the new committee system, including their antagonists on the Labour benches?

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Bristol 24/7 editor and Hotwells election hopeful Martin Booth

We sat down with the journalist to discuss his plan to run as an independent candidate in February's Hotwells and Harbourside council by-election, before he pulled out of the race.

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Labour MP Kerry McCarthy on climate change, immigration and getting along with Tories

After months of chaos in Westminster, the longstanding Labour MP for Bristol East talks Keir Starmer, climate change, immigration and taxation.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning