Conservatives election expenses probe extended

Written by Tom Freeman on 2 June 2016 in News

Judge warns general election results could be “declared void” as Tories fail to block extension to election expenses probe in South Thanet

An investigation into improper election spending by the Conservative party has been extended by 12 months.

The party has blamed an “administrative error” for not declaring £38,000 of expenses for a ‘battlebus’ which targeted specific seats including South Thanet, where UKIP leader Nigel Farage was beaten by Tory Craig MacKinlay.

MacKinlay attempted to oppose the extension, but Folkestone Magistrates' Court have granted Kent police “a further 12 months for an investigation”.


Conservative general election expenses probe: Electoral Commission requests more time in case prosecutions are needed

Labour's general election review: fear of SNP one of four factors

District Judge Justin Barron said the inquiry could lead to election results “being declared void”.

“The consequences of a conviction would be of a local and national significance,” he added.

Investigations into electoral spending must take place within a year, but all police forces in England have been granted the extension to probe the claims. South Thanet is the only seat where the party has attempted to oppose the ruling.

A Channel 4 news investigation found evidence the Conservatives may have abused the election rules in up to 33 constituencies, affecting 29 winning MPs. The claims include spending on hotels and social media campaigns.

The party has a majority of 12 in the House of Commons.

It is a criminal offence to fail to declare spending by candidates and their electoral agents during a campaign. It can carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail.




Related Articles

Scottish Government announces new support service for families of homicide victims
20 April 2018

Victim Support Scotland will receive £13.8m for a homicide service and to develop a victim-centred approach to criminal justice

Breakthrough in forensics to hand investigators a new tool in fight against wildlife crime
20 April 2018

With illegal traps often placed in remote locations, investigators have previously struggled to collect evidence of wrong doing

MSPs vote in favour of creating safe drug injection rooms
20 April 2018

Glasgow City Council wants to set up an injection room, but would need the support of the UK Government

Cyber security in Northern Ireland
18 April 2018

Event report: Cybercrime is the most secure way of committing crime, insists Klaid Magi, a leading European expert on the threat levels and how to combat them, “and everybody knows it."

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page