THE partner of outgoing Halifax MP Linda Riordan has appeared in court charged with assaulting her and breaking her glasses as they drove home following a night out.
Stephen Roberts appeared at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court earlier this week charged with section 39 assault by beating and criminal damage to 61-year-old Mrs Riordan’s spectacles.
The alleged attack took place as the couple drove home to their Northowram property following an evening dining out on March 30.
Roberts, 54, now of Collingwood Road, Yeovil, pleaded not guilty to both charges as he stood in the dock at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court.
The case was sent to Leeds Magistrates’ Court the following day to be heard before a judge as a matter of public interest.
Mrs Riordan is expected to testify against Roberts as part of the prosecution evidence.
Roberts, who was bailed on two conditions: not to contact Linda Riordan and not to go within 100 yards of her home address; will be tried before a jury on June 11 at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.
The Halifax MP employs Roberts as her “senior researcher” on £42,000 per annum at taxpayers’ expense.
The basic annual salary for an MP from April 1 totals £67,060 plus office, travel, staff and London residency expenses.
In the aftermath of the Parliamentary expenses scandal, Mrs Riordan and partner Roberts came under fire in the national press, in 2012, when left-winger Linda was one of four MPs to be exposed for renting out her £400,000 London flat to Parliamentary colleague and Labour MP Iain McKenzie for £1,560 a month - which he claimed back from the taxpayer - and making Mrs Riordan an annual profit of £19,000, reported the Daily Mail in 2012.
Mrs Riordan, who lived at her properties with Roberts, claimed £1,473 from the taxpayer against their London home. Two out of three of Mrs Riordan’s properties were then funded by the taxpayer.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority states MPs can let out their homes - even if the taxpayer is paying them to rent other properties.
In February, the Labour MP, who has represented Halifax for ten years, announced she would not run for the battleground seat in next month’s General Election.
Speaking about her decision to stand down, Mrs Riordan previously told the Halifax Courier: “It has been an incredibly tough decision to make. Over recent weeks and months my health, particularly my long-standing rheumatoid arthritis, has made it increasingly difficult to carry out the job as effectively as I would like.”