It is too late to do anything about these new electoral fraud allegations – other than be vigilant for similar dirty dealings in any future election campaigns.

Considering the amount of time and effort it took to get police forces across the UK to begin the currently-ongoing investigations into electoral fraud by a ruling political party, it would be wise to make a note of every piece of campaign material put out by every candidate in the future – and then check it against spending returns as they are filed, not more than a month after the polling date.

It is painstaking work, but it seems clear that Conservatives like Ms Rudd and Mr Mills may have been taking advantage of the fact that nobody has been keen to take it on in the past. They must all be discouraged from doing so in the future.

Just think – if Amber Rudd had been caught breaking electoral rules at the appropriate time, she would not have been able to cancel the ‘Dubs amendment’ refugee scheme.

In fact, if enough Tories had been caught overspending immediately after the election – there might not now be a Conservative government making these nasty decisions.

But as matters stand, police investigators have until May 9 to take action on the fraud allegations that they are investigating.

Tory MPs are facing fresh allegations of electoral fraud after apparently failing to declare the costs of negative campaign ads.

At least two Conservative candidates used online adverts designed by M&C Saatchi but failed to mention them in their general election spending returns.

The Tories paid £395,575 to M&C Saatchi for advertising costs in the run up to poll last May, including one “wrecking ball” advert.

The poster and video ad used the slogan “Recovering Economy” and a wrecking ball carrying the words “Don’t Let Labour Wreck It”.

These costs were declared nationally as party spending where the Tories were more than £2 million below the spending cap.

But Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy, ran what appeared to be a local version of the same advert on her YouTube channel on March 29. The slogan was changed to “Unemployment down by 1,921 in Hastings and Rye since 2010”.

It was uploaded on March 29, the last day of the “long campaign”, but does not appear in Ms Rudd’s long campaign election spending return.

Under “advertising”, the only online costs declared were a series of Facebook ads and one £60 bill to her local conservative association for a “pop up banner”.

More than a year has passed since Ms Rudd filed her return which means that she can no longer be punished under the act.

Another Tory MP, Nigel Mills, posted what appeared to be a local version of the “wrecking ball” ad with the slogan changed to “Unemployment down by 59% in Amber Valley since 2010” [in similar circumstances].

Source: Tory MPs face new electoral fraud allegations after failing to declare online advertising costs

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