Most likely, your version of Lightroom is applying a preset at import that has this rotation built in.
What dj said or perhaps a change to "default develop setting" inadvertently changed.
thanks for the suggestion but can't be a preset on import because it shows the skew in Adobe bridge when just browsing the image on the memory card so before even imported
If there isn't a preset being applied during Import then you've accidentally changed your Lightroom Defaults, as DdeGannes said. The LR Defaults are what every image has applied when first imported or when Reset. Most of the defaults are Zero so you don't think of them as settings, but they are settings just the same as if they were non-zero.
Because there is white space around the image, I believe you have changed the Rotation to a non-zero value down in the Lens Corrections - Manual area.
To correct this, you need to find an image that has been newly imported, but without any adjustments having been made. It should have only an Import step in history, nothing else. Once you have found the correct image and are in the Develop module:
1) Scroll down to Lens Profile Defaults and click on the Manual tab.
2) Change the Rotation to 0 (double-click on the word Rotate) and correct any other non-zero Lens Corrections - Manual settings, thinks like Distortion, Vertical and Horizontal adjustments. Scale should be 100, not zero.
3) Review any other settings of this photo and see if anything else needs set to 0 or the normal just-imported value.
4) Hold the Alt key (or the Mac equivalent) and you'll see the Reset button change to Set Default... Click that.
5) Click this Set Default button and choose to update to current settings.
That should make newly imported photos non-rotated, but it won't fix ones that are already imported. You'll have to go fix those, yourself. If they don't have any edits then clicking Reset might be enough, but if you've changed other things then you'll want to adjust the Rotate value to 0 manually, by double-clicking.
thanks for the suggestion but as above it can NOT be anything to do with Lightroom import because just browsing the file on the memory card using Adobe Bridge shows the same skewed image rotated so its clearly not something being applied on import.... If you can think of anything else that might cause this I'd appreciate your thoughts
Lightroom and PS/Bridge's ACR plug-in use the same defaults storage files so changing the defaults for one changes them for the other and my answer of how to reset these defaults remains the same.
FYI, on Windows this default storage is in the following folder: c:\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\Defaults
You can't tell which is which except by opening each in a text editor and looking at the contents, but there is an XMP file for each camera model you've encountered in either LR or the ACR plug-in.