The former chancellor of the exchequer Ken Clarke has denied molesting a young actor, describing the allegation as “like Martians landing”.
Ben Fellows, 40, from Birmingham, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of perverting the course of justice by making up a false claim against Clarke.
Fellows claimed the politician had plied him with alcohol and carried out the sexual assault in the office of political lobbyist Ian Greer during a cash-for-questions sting operation by ITV’s The Cook Report in 1994.
In the autumn of 2012, he told national news reporters about the alleged assault, and stories were published in print and online, jurors at the Old Bailey were told on Monday.
He went on to make a statement to police after being interviewed by officers as part of Operation Fairbank – the high-profile investigation into historical child sex abuse at Westminster.
In it he claimed he had been assaulted while working as an undercover actor for the Cook Report and that there were a number of people who had also worked on the show at the time who were aware of the alleged assault.
Giving evidence, Clarke was asked if there was any truth in Fellows’ allegation. He replied: “It was quite a detailed allegation about place, incident – nothing to do with me. Apparently, while chancellor of the exchequer I was hanging around the office of Ian Greer and groped a man. My recollection was it was like Martians landing.”
I will be with Ben for the final days and will have his story directly from him when the trial concludes..