Electoral Commission to investigate Zac Goldsmith’s election expenses

Having reviewed a complaint made about Zac Goldsmith’s election expenses (the ones that didn’t feature in that TV spat), the Electoral Commission has decided there’s a strong enough case to warrant investigation by them:

The assessment of the information indicated that there was the possibility of a failure to comply with the Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA) and that further enquiries should be made in order to establish the facts of the matter.

The Electoral Commission could then decide to refer the matter to the police for them to investigate and, potentially, for legal action to be taken. This process is different from that of an election petition but a conviction can result in an MP being disqualified from office, and so a by-election being held.

Zac Goldsmith’s response to this news was to say,

I welcome the review and both my agent and I will help it in every way possible.

It will find that we were absolutely scrupulous at every stage in insuring (sic) that our election spending complied with the letter and the spirit of the rules.

We followed to the letter the formula which we and all MPs and candidates were given.

For some background on the election law involved, see my earlier post Zac Goldsmith and election law: what doesn’t count towards your limit?

Hat-tip: Channel 4

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This entry was posted in Election law.
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5 Comments

  • I’d be very surprised if he and his agent think they’ve done nothing wrong. They are going to be feeling extremely worried; but then if the Electoral Commission do prove effective in this case, so will a lot more MPs and their agents.

  • “the formula which we and all MPs and candidates were given”?

    I don’t recall being given a forumla, just told to use a common sense approach – i.e. is the way we are accounting for this reasonable? Would I be happy defending this in court?

    As Mark Pack said of EC guidelines in the previous post:

    “Their guidance for the 2010 election even says “… there are no hard and fast rules. Instead, you should follow the guiding principle [that] you should make an honest assessment on the facts”.

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