David Ashby

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David Glynn Ashby (born 14 May 1940) was the Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom for North West Leicestershire from 1983 until he stood down in 1997.

David Ashby
Born David Glyn Ashby
(1940-05-14) 14 May 1940 (age 74)
Occupation Lawyer and Politician
Political party
Conservative Party

Ashby resigned in 1994 as a Parliamentary Private Secretary after it was revealed that during a business trip he had shared a hotel bed with another man supposedly due to the unavailability of a twin bedded room.[1]

Ashby refused to name the other man concerned, but later Dr Ciaran Kilduff said that he would be issue proceedings for libel saying "I find it quite appalling that the press should feel able to publish such unfounded rumour and gossip, in some cases making direct allegations against me and in other cases using insinuation and gossip. I have never had a homosexual relationship with Mr Ashby, nor with anyone else." Ashby also said about the stories of his homosexuality "I totally refute that. I have been married 28 years. So far as I am concerned I spent a holiday with a close friend. We went to two hotels. In the first one we managed to find twin beds and at the second one we didn't. It doesn't make any bloody difference." and that he was seeking legal advice about newspaper articles that reported his wife as saying that Ashby had left her for another man.[2]

Ashby subsequently led and unsuccessful claim against The Sunday Times for alleged libel and was branded a liar and a homosexual, after Kilduff's successful libel case, which resulted in a costs order against Ashby and the subsequent filing of divorce by his wife. It was anticipated that the costs liability would be substantial and additionally that Ashby would subsequently face divorce and ancillary relief proceedings. Shortly thereafter, Ashby transferred his flat (which was above that of Kilduff and where they both lived as a couple) to Kilduff; with a purported short hold tenancy being granted to Ashby which was broadly equivalent to the costs of maintaining the mortgage (which payments were initially lower than the market rent). In consideration of the transfer Kilduff paid Ashby's liability to his solicitors of circa £20,000 and also took over the mortgage. In any event both parties intended to continue living together as before and made equal contributions to a joint housekeeping account. The intention was to defraud Ashby's wife and The Sunday Times in any costs orders.

In September 2005 the two parties separated, and in October 2005 Kilduff moved out of Ashby's flat into his own downstairs, although he continued to have access to Ashby's upstairs flat to use the office until 2007. Kilduff entered into a new relationship in 2006 with another older man and towards the end of 2007 invited Ashby to move out into a neighbouring flat that Kilduff also owned, so that Kilduff could live in both of the other downstairs and upstairs flats with his new partner. Ashby stated that he would do so if he had beneficial ownership of the third flat. Subsequently, Kilduff sought legal advice which prompted legal proceedings. As part of these legal proceedings Bernard Livesey QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the Chancery Division stated the following about Ashby in his summary:

"He was a person who did not easily (or perhaps at all) accept advice from those who were close to him, believing that he knew better.... As regards his credibility: it seems to me that he could not have fought a libel trial over a period of three weeks and given evidence without repeatedly perjuring himself.... in my judgment be quite prepared to tell a pack of lies if he believed it was just for him and in his interests to do so, in which case he could quite easily persuade himself of the truth and accuracy of an inaccurate account."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Percival, Jenny (6 June 2008). "* News * Politics * Conservatives Background Conservative scandals: Chichester joins a long list". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Williams, Rhys (11 January 1994). "* Tories in Turmoil". The Independent. 
  3. ^ Livesey, Bernard (30 July 2010). "Ashby v Killduff [2010] EWHC 2034 (Ch.)". The Family Law Week. 
  • Times Guide to the House of Commons, Times Newspapers Limited, 1992 and 1997 editions.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire
19831997
Succeeded by
David Taylor