This will play very badly for the Conservatives in the long term.
The party has shown either reluctance or refusal to divulge information required in an investigation of activities that may prove to have been illegal.
Why delay providing it? What possible reasons can you imagine for withholding the evidence?
No doubt any court will have the same concerns as you, when it comes to consider how this evidence relates to cases against any of the 33 Tory MPs currently accused of having broken spending rules in order to win their seats in the 2015 general election.
And there is another concern: What other possible courses of action can you imagine a political party taking – one that is already facing corruption allegations – to ensure that alleged misuse of money is hushed up?
We must all be vigilant.
The Conservative party is being taken to court by the election watchdog amid claims that it breached spending rules.
The Electoral Commission has applied to the high court for a document and information disclosure order after party chiefs failed to provide requested details.
The legal action will lead to claims that the party and its chairman, Andrew Feldman, are dragging their feet over allegations that the Conservatives broke spending laws in last year’s general election campaign.
Nine police forces have also launched fraud investigations into claims that the Conservatives recorded the costs of activists being bussed into marginal seats under individual candidates’ limits, rather than as part of the national campaign.
The commission said in a statement that the party had not fully complied with two statutory notices requiring it to produce information – providing “limited disclosure of material in response to the first notice [issued on 18 February 2016] and no material in response to the second notice [issued on 23 March 2016]” – despite being granted extensions to the original deadlines.
UPDATE 4.30pm, May 12: The Conservative party has said that it has supplied the Electoral Commission with the information it requested.
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