CASTLE Point MP Bob Spink and a former Benfleet councillor have both been awarded “substantial” libel damages over false allegations the pair had an adulterous affair.

Dr Spink, who quit the Tories to join UKIP earlier this year, sued the publishers of several national newspapers and the Conservative Party for defamation.

Former councillor Gail Boland also successfully took action against the Conservative party in the High Court.

Their solicitor advocate David Price told Mr Justice Easy Mrs Boland was previously the long-standing partner of Bill Sharp, a Hadleigh Castle Point councillor and deputy chairman of the local Conservative association.

Giving the background to the case, Mr Price said in 2005, the Mail on Sunday was ordered to pay damages to Dr Spink for publishing an article “alleging Dr Spink had had an affair with Mrs Boland, which had led to the break-up of her relationship with Mr Sharp, as well as his own marriage.”

The allegations were entirely untrue, Mr Price added.

He said: “Dr Spink and Mrs Boland did not have an adulterous affair and any relationship between them commenced a significant time after the break-up of Dr Spink’s marriage and Mrs Boland’s relationship with Mr Sharp – both of which ended for entirely unconnected reasons.”

In their coverage of Dr Spink’s resignation from the Tory party in March this year, The Times, the Sun, the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph all repeated the allegation. Mr Price said Dr Spink and Mrs Boland were distressed by the re-appearance of the libel.

They discovered a Tory party document, described as a briefing note, included reference to “an affair”. It had been issued by the party on the same day it sent out an official press release about Dr Spink’s resignation.

Mr Price said: “The Conservative Party maintains the inclusion of the reference to “an affair” was an innocent mistake by a junior member of staff. The claimants do not accept this.”

The court ordered the defendants to pay damages and costs to Mr Spink and Mrs Boland.

Mr Price said: “In the circumstances, the claimants, while upset by what has happened, feel they have once again been vindicated. They sincerely hope they have now finally nailed the lie.”

Speaking after the hearing, Dr Spink commented: “The fact the Tory party was caught out telling lies shows just how necessary it is to clean up politics.”