Thursday, July 28, 2016

Electoral Commission passes file on Northampton South to police

Last November I blogged about David Mackintosh, the Conservative MP for Northampton South.

That post quoted a BBC News report:
A Conservative MP's local party was given undeclared payments linked to a businessman involved in a stalled stadium development, it has emerged. 
David Mackintosh's party received a £6,195 payment for tickets from Howard Grossman, the director of a company overseeing work at Northampton Town FC. 
Mr Mackintosh was leader of the borough council when it approved a £10.25m loan for the plans. Millions of pounds of the money is currently unaccounted for. 
He declined to comment on the payments. 
Three individuals with links to Mr Grossman also paid £10,000 into Mr Mackintosh's general election fighting fund, a BBC investigation found. 
The payment to Mr Mackintosh's party from Mr Grossman and one of the donations for £10,000 were not declared to the Electoral Commission.
I went on to say "I suspect this is a story to watch," whereupon it disappeared from the media.

Until this week.

A story on the Northampton Chronicle & Echo website today quotes a spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police:
“Following an initial investigation into election fund donations made in the Northampton South constituency, the Electoral Commission has passed the information to Northamptonshire Police to continue the investigation. 
“The information provided is currently being assessed by specialist investigators alongside thousands of documents obtained in the far-reaching and independent investigation into the lending of £10.25 million to Northampton Town Football Club.”
The paper also reports that David Mackintosh has said on a number of occasons that he welcomes the inquiry into the Sixfields loan and has never considered any of the donations to have come from anyone other than the stated donors.

Meanwhile a new story on BBC News makes things more complicated still:
An MP has accused his former council colleagues of a cover up in a row over a missing £10.25m loan. Northampton Borough Council gave the cash to Northampton Town FC in 2013 to redevelop its Sixfields stadium. 
David Mackintosh MP, who was council leader at the time, said the authority had "wrongly implied" he did not inform colleagues when a whistleblower raised concerns with him about the money. 
The council said it was working with police and had initiated two reviews. 
In June, it emerged Conservative MP Mr Mackintosh had been alerted by a whistleblower to concerns about the money in March 2015, but the council said it had no record that he had passed this on to them. 
Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceHe said this was incorrect and that the emails were "immediately passed to senior officers".
I will again risk the observation that this is a story to watch.

No comments: