Saturday, April 30, 2016

Electoral Commission asks for more time to consider Conservative election expenses

From the Channel 4 News website today:
The elections watchdog has asked for more time to pursue possible criminal prosecutions regarding Tory election spending, as a summit is called to consider the evidence revealed by Channel 4 News. 
Following months of investigations by Channel 4 News, the Electoral Commission has requested an extension to the time limit available to pursue possible criminal prosecutions regarding Conservative Party campaign spending returns. 
Bob Posner, Director of Party and Election Finance & Legal Counsel at the Electoral Commission said, “The police and the CPS both have the power to apply to the Courts to extend the time limit on bringing criminal prosecutions for electoral offences to allow for full investigations to take place. We have requested that they consider doing this.” 
Representatives of the Electoral Commission and the Crown Prosecution Service will hold also hold a summit with a number of police forces to discuss the Conservative Party’s election expenses next week.
Meanwhile the Cornish Guardian reports:
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said that following complaints from "a small number" of members of the public, officers had launched an inquiry into allegations that Mr Mann's declared election expenses did not portray an accurate picture of his spending. 
Mr Mann has vigorously denied any wrong-doing but has conceded that he did not know details of how some of the Conservative Party campaigning in his constituency had been accounted for. 
The national party repeatedly sent campaigners to North Cornwall in a touring "Battle Bus." 
At issue is whether the travel and accommodation expenses for those campaigners should have been declared locally, or as part of a national campaign spend
If the Electoral Commission, as it should, is taking this affair seriously, there is much more chance of it coming to something substantial than there would be if it were left to isolated local campaigners.

1 comment:

Julian Bray said...

Electors need to make a formal complaint to police not the Electoral Commission. I complained to the EC over the Stanground Central Conservative budgets a few years back witrh supporting evidence still waiting for the evidence to be returned....years later