Tag Archives: election expenses

Electoral expenses allegations may have deep and game-changing implications

 

Last week we heard that 12 English police forces have sent papers to the CPS, in response to concerns about electoral expenses matters in up to 20  seats won by the Conservatives at the 2015 General Election. Four other forces, including Kent Police, which is investigating what happened during the election in the Thanet constituency, have yet to say where their investigations have led them.

Thanet was won by the Conservative’s Craig McKinley, much to the disappointment of UKIP’s candidate, Nigel Farage.

So, and allow me to indulge in pure wishful thinking, what would happen if the courts said that some or all of these contests must be re-run? Would that not go straight to the heart of the legitimacy of the Conservative government and any legislation passed since that administration was formed?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 23 Comments

Conservative Party releases election expenses after court action

The BBC reports:

The Conservative Party has produced documents about its spending during the general election after the Electoral Commission took court action.

The watchdog applied to the High Court to force the party to disclose the documents as part of an investigation into an alleged spending rules breach.

Within hours, the commission said it had received the documents from the party and was reviewing them.

…In a statement, the Electoral Commission said: “Using its powers under the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000, and in line with its enforcement policy, the Electoral Commission may issue a statutory notice requiring any

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Election expenses: Nine of the Tory MPs being investigated named

Channel 4 News have now named nine of the Tory MPs being investigated by the police in connection with allegations of expenses irregularities:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Devon & Cornwall police call in another force to investigate Tory election expense allegations

The BBC reports:

A newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is facing calls to “stand aside” while she is investigated by police.

Officers are examining Alison Hernandez’s role in submitting expenses for Tory MP Kevin Foster in 2015.

Conservative, Ms Hernandez, was elected as Devon and Cornwall’s PCC on Friday.

Her political opponents say there is a “conflict of interest”, but Ms Hernandez says she will have no contact with officers investigating expenses.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Undeclared Conservative election expenses unearthed by Channel 4 News

Michael Crick, Channel 4 News’s political correspondent, has spent months investigating the Conservative Party’s election expenses from last year’s general election, focussing on the party’s “battle buses”, which moved activists around the country, and the associated costs incurred (e.g. hotels).

Last night’s programme featured another report, this time looking at the use of the buses in the South-West, where the Conservatives successfully targeted every one of the 14 seats held by the Lib Dems:

Posted in News | 22 Comments

Complaint upheld against SNP MSP caught using public funds to promote SNP candidates

Just a quick update on a story I brought to you last month about SNP MSP Rob Gibson. He used adverts, funded by the Scottish Parliament, for his surgeries which included some heavy duty promotion of his staff who at the time were standing as candidates for Highland Council. Both were subsequently elected.

 

At the time, Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott complained to the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body. The minutes of their most recent meeting have been published and show that:

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Liberal Democrats get the best electoral bang for campaign buck

Figures released by the Electoral Commission this week reveal that while the Conservative Party outspent all the other parties put together in General Election 2010, it was the Liberal Democrats who got the best value for money.

The Liberal Democrats spent 70p for each vote gained; the Labour Party, 93p and the Conservatives, £1.54.

From the Independent:

The biggest change from the previous election was the dramatic depletion of the Labour campaign’s war chest. It spent just over £8m on the three month campaign, less than half the £16.7m spent by the Tories. The figure for the Liberal Democrats was £4.8m,

Posted in News | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Good news as Electoral Commission decides to preserve local donation records

The Electoral Commission is plugging a gap in the record of political donations following a decision to change its policy on retaining copies of constituency candidate expense returns.

Donations made direct to a candidate (rather than to their party) are only recorded in these constituency returns and do not appear in the donation records published by the Electoral Commission. However, in previous Parliaments both the local copies of these returns kept by electoral officials and the copies gathered in by the Electoral Commission were destroyed after a handful of years. This meant that even before the next general election was held, …

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Good news for minor parties, unelected politicians and those who dislike election expense controls

Slipped in near the end of Nick Clegg’s keynote speech to Liberal Democrat conference was the news that the first democratic elections to the House of Lords are pencilled in for 2015.

Party sources have confirmed that the reference to Liberal Democrat candidates at the next general election fighting alongside candidates for a reformed Upper House means the draft Lords reform legislation due to be published early in 2011 is being planned on the basis of elections in 2015.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

Dear Nick Clegg…

Dear Deputy Prime Minister,

I read your speech from Thursday to the Committee on Standards in Public Life with interest. It is good to see the progress being made in many areas of political reform, including the commitment made in the speech that, “in the New Year we will produce draft legislation to complete the modernization of the House of Lords”.

Much else too in the speech was good to read, but I think you are missing an important issue about how the changes to election expense rules introduced for the 2010 general election are driving political parties in the wrong direction.

To …

Posted in Election law and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Joan Ruddock MP submits wholly notional expenses return

Election expenses from the Joan Ruddock (Labour) campaign in Lewisham Deptford 2010
The Londonist reports that Joan Ruddock, the Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford, has taken the unusual step of submitting her election expenses return without attaching any invoices or receipts, instead listing all expenses as “notional”:

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Mark Pack on election cost rules: “important that the rules are robust and that the rules are properly enforced”

LDV Co-Editor Mark Pack – who has written here and here about the Channel 4 News reports of MPs allegedly stretching their election exenses – has been interviewed by the channel about the complex rules.

You can watch one clip here:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 5 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJonathan Coulter 6th Dec - 12:47pm
    Thanks Paul Reynolds, I found this a very helpful summary of the situation
  • User AvatarGlenn 6th Dec - 12:45pm
    When the Lib Dems were in the coalition and I used to point this out about Boris on LDV during the London Mayoral elections I...
  • User AvatarJonathan Coulter 6th Dec - 12:29pm
    One of the Mail's leading columnists, Peter Oborne, had a Pauline moment when he switched sides and became Remainer. I would be good if other...
  • User AvatarGlenn 6th Dec - 12:14pm
    The printed press is dying and has been for years. Not many people read newspapers anymore. They're all heading towards going online and there virtually...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 6th Dec - 12:07pm
    After 2 years of chaos with a hung parliament I do not think many voters would want another one so what option was there ?...
  • User AvatarBarry Lofty 6th Dec - 11:55am
    We should not be making deals with either the Tories or Labour whilst their present leadership's are in control. A plague on both their houses!
Tue 10th Dec 2019