MP arrested over a ‘bust-up’ at the garage

CALDER Valley MP Craig Whittaker has been arrested amid allegations that he assaulted his son.

Thursday, 2nd February 2012, 4:06 pm

Allegedly the assault on 24-year-old Lee Whittaker took place outside a petrol station in Burnley Road, Mytholmroyd at 10.30pm on Boxing Day.

Mr Whittaker was driving his son back from Wigan to the latter’s Mytholmroyd home, where he lives with his mother, Alison.

Speaking to the Hebden Bridge Times yesterday morning the Conservative MP said: “I have given the police a full statement and because of the police investigations I have nothing further to say.”

Father-of-three Mr Whittaker, who sits on the Education Select Committee, currently lives in Huddersfield but previously lived in Blackshaw Head and Rastrick, Brighouse.

Lee is a graduate of Forensic Science from Manchester University and his grandfather, Bob Cross, said: “The whole family has been advised to say nothing at this stage.”

The news has received mixed reaction in the political world, with many declining to comment and others taking a stronger stance.

Councillor Susan Press, Labour candidate for Calder ward in May’s Calderdale Council elections, said: “Whatever the individual circumstances of this case people expect certain standards of MPs - particularly when they tell us they represent the party of family values.

“Craig Whittaker is accountable to his constituents and I expect many will be raising the issue with him.”

Chairman of the Calder Valley Conservative Association Helen Roberts said she had no comment to make.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “We are investigating an allegation of assault that occurred at the Burnley Road petrol station.

“A 49-year-old man has been arrested and bailed pending the outcome of further inquiries and consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.”

Mr Whittaker’s three children - Lee, Sophie and Beth, are from his first marriage.

Last year he married Elaine Wilkinson at The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, Palace of Westminster.

He was elected to Westminister in May 2010 with a majority of 6,431 and his ward covers the Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Brighouse areas.

Whilst living in the Blackshaw Head area he served on Heptonstall Parish Council between 1998 and 2003.

Mr Whittaker also served on Calderdale Council from 2003/2004 and from 2007/2011.