New expenses scandal emerges as Tories fight police in court

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New expenses scandal emerges as Tories fight police in court

Post by sassy on Mon May 30, 2016 4:25 pm

As the Conservatives go to court to prevent police investigating its South Thanet election expenses, Channel 4 News reveals fresh evidence of undeclared expenses there, and the scale of the operation.

Detailed new evidence from inside a Conservative campaign office in the key South Thanet constituency reveals the huge resources provided to this campaign.

Other documents and social media postings further reveal how staff from Conservative party headquarters were parachuted in to the constituency to help their candidate beat Farage, with many related costs not declared locally.

Channel 4 News understands that there are 18 police forces up and down the country that have been given or are seeking an extension to the time limit relating to election expenses.

The Conservative party is currently only attempting to block in South Thanet an extension to the legal time limit that the local police force has to investigate election returns.

Today, new evidence obtained by Channel 4 News reveals that an important battlebus visit on election day to South Thanet, up to a dozen promotional videos made for the local candidate, and a conference room used by a minister to campaign on local issues for the candidate appear to have never been declared.
Get caught up - and read the full story of Election Expenses Exposed here.
The Conservative Party told Channel 4 News: "The Party always took the view that our national Battlebus, a highly-publicised campaign activity, was part of the National Return, and declared it as such. All spending has been correctly recorded in accordance with the law."

Beat Farage


In the South Thanet contest, UKIP Nigel Farage was defeated by the now Conservative MP Craig Mackinley - by 2,800 votes. He was assisted by tens of thousands of pounds of spending that appears to have been used to help local campaigning - enough to take him beyond the £15,000 cap.

The new revelations come as the Conservative Party take the unprecedented step of trying to oppose a court extension to the police investigation into whether it correctly declared the money they spent in South Thanet. That hearing itself was in a closed court session not open to the public or press.

The Conservative Party bought in James Laddie QC, one of the country's top lawyers, to attend the closed session at Folkestone Magistrates Court on Tuesday May 24.

Battlebus - final stop


Channel 4 News understands that on 7 May - election day itself - was the biggest campaigning day for the Mackinlay campaign. Staff and activists on the bus appear to have taken part in local campaigning to get out the vote for Craig Mackinlay. He tweeted: "Thanks to @MrMark Clarke and his @roadtrip2015 #battlebus2015 -- 60 people on the way to lead charge in #SouthThanet."

We can reveal that none of the £400 costs incurred by this Battlebus visit appear to have been declared.

Team 2015


Channel 4 News has also obtained evidence of repeated visits by bus loads of Team 2015 activists who appear to have campaigned for Craig Mackinlay MP. These include visits on 4 April, 9 April, April 11 and 12, and 26 April.

We have obtained video footage of the Team 2015 visit on 9 April which shows the then-party's chairman Grant Shapps encouraging the activists to campaign for the local candidate Craig Mackinlay, who thanks the activists for supporting him.

None of the costs incurred on these Team 2015 visits appear to be on Mr Mackinlay's candidate spending return, despite clear guidance from the Electoral Commission that the costs of campaigning for the candidate must be declared by them in order to promote fairness.

Links to Conservative party headquarters


In the Broadstairs campaign office - the campaign schedule was photographed by Emily Ashton, from Buzzfeed.
It stated that on the 9 April, the Transport Minister John Hayes MP visited Manston Airport which was at the time considered a major local issue in South Thanet. It was not a matter considered to be of national significance.

Channel 4 News has obtained evidence that a conference room was booked at the airport Holiday Inn hotel for a Conservative Party event on April 9. The booking was made in the name of CCHQ staffer Marion Little OBE.
None of the costs associated with this event appear to have been declared in the South Thanet election spending return. Nor does it appear to have been declared nationally.

This appears to fit into a pattern of apparently undeclared spending involving senior figures at CCHQ that has been identified by Channel 4 News in previous investigations.

The Electoral Commission is already investigating three by-elections in 2014, which took place in a "regulated period" when all spending should have been declared.

In those by-elections and in South Thanet, Channel 4 News obtained hotel receipts in Newark, Clacton, Rochester totalling some 770 nights of accommodation which were booked under Marion Little's name and home address.
We have also identified some £4,000 of bookings made by Ms Little at the Premier Inn in Margate.

The law says any money spent promoting the local candidate must be declared by the candidate and their agent on their local spending return. Failure to declare is a criminal offence.

The hearing on whether Kent Police will be given a time extension - already granted to 18 police forces up and down the country - is due to take place on Wednesday next week.

http://www.channel4.com/news/new-expenses-scandal-emerges-as-tories-fight-police-in-court



Well done Channel 4 for keeping up the pressure on this, this could bring the Tories down, and so it should.

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Re: New expenses scandal emerges as Tories fight police in court

Post by sassy on Mon May 30, 2016 4:31 pm


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Re: New expenses scandal emerges as Tories fight police in court

Post by sassy on Tue May 31, 2016 1:15 pm

More and more coming to light:



Tories 'paid unemployed woman' to pose as party activist in election campaign

It's claimed the woman responded to an advert in her local job centre and was paid to pound the pavements in Thanet, Kent


Police are being asked to investigate extraordinary claims that the Tories paid an unemployed woman to pose as a party supporter and help their general election campaign.
It is alleged that an activist leafleting voters in Thanet South one month before the May poll was hired as a temp for the day but this was not declared locally as an election expense.
Quizzed about here role, it is claimed that she denied being a Tory and said: "I'm not. I was at the job centre and saw this advert for a job with an unknown employer".
The woman, who is not named, was allegedly then put on a Tory battlebus on April 9, given a Conservative rosette and taken by bus to the Phoenix Youth Club in Sandwich, Kent.
From there, she was allegedly ordered to pound the streets with other genuine party volunteers.
It is not thought she canvassed for the Tories by engaging with voters, which would be a criminal offence, and there is no suggestion Tory MP Craig Mackinlay was aware of the arrangement.

If true, the cost of her wages should have been declared to Mr Mackinlay and included in his election spending return.
Mr Mackinlay is already facing an investigation into claims that his spending declaration is incomplete. The Mirror revealed three months ago that Mr Mackinlay didn't declare the costs of a string of battlebuses bringing activists to his constituency.
The Conservatives insist the buses were correctly declared as a part of their national election campaign.
The new claims are made by Dover councillor Peter Wallace who has passed his concerns to Kent Police.
Kent Police confirmed that it has received the allegation, which is being reviewed.
We approached both Mr Mackinlay and the Conservative Party for comment but both did not respond.
Councillor Wallace said: “On April 10th the Conservative Party's Battle Bus visited Sandwich, in South Thanet, with a number of activists on board. During the day they distributed leaflets, campaigned in the town centre and held a meeting at the Phoenix Centre youth club.
“After the meeting a member of staff at the Phoenix Centre spoke to one of the activists and asked her why she had travelled from London to campaign in Sandwich for the Conservative Party.
“The activist replied that she wasn't a supporter of the Conservative Party but was actually unemployed and was recruited in her local job centre in London to campaign for the Party.
“She was paid to travel on the bus, hand out leaflets and take part in the campaign while wearing a blue rosette.
Read more: Be part of the Daily Mirror People's Electoral Commission and help us investigate alleged Tory election fraud
“I can't find any reference to this election expense in Craig McKinlay's returns. I believe this is a serious matter that needs investigating.”
Kent Police this week applied for more time to investigate claims, first reported in the Mirror, that Mr Mackinlay broke electoral law by failing to declare the costs of the battlebus.
But the court hearing was adjourned to next week when the Conservative Party hired a legal team to challenge the process.
Tory Chairman Andrew Feldman had previously promised a "full explanation" of the scandal but earlier this month the Electoral Commission took the party to the High Court in a bid to force it to disclose key documents about election expenses.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tories-paid-unemployed-woman-pose-8076351#ICID=ios_TMNewsApp_AppShare_Click_Message

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Re: New expenses scandal emerges as Tories fight police in court

Post by Tommy Monk on Tue May 31, 2016 7:45 pm




Dirty tricks to stop Ukip winning...!?



Nothing new there...

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Re: New expenses scandal emerges as Tories fight police in court

Post by Lord Foul on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:41 pm

it seems that there is more than one constituency involved and if true the fact is it will void the last election...potentially this means up to 22 by elections....with the very real possibility that this will mean a change of government (and also that the present govt is "void")

the potential repercusions of this are many but the most interesting is that the present govt would NEVER have been valid...and ALL legislation post last may is null and void.........


oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive

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Re: New expenses scandal emerges as Tories fight police in court

Post by sassy on Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:00 pm

29 all together Vic, it most certainly could void the election.

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Re: New expenses scandal emerges as Tories fight police in court

Post by Tommy Monk on Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:14 pm



Ukip were robbed!!!


And another thing... I have read that councils are sending out large numbers of eu referendum voting cards to non British people...




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