Campaign spending inquiry lands Conservatives in court

Last Updated: May 12, 2016By
David Cameron during the general election campaign. The Tories face claims they broke spending rules [Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images].

David Cameron during the general election campaign. The Tories face claims they broke spending rules [Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images].

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.

Source: Conservatives taken to court over campaign spending details | Politics | The Guardian


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  1. mrmarcpc May 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    This should come back to bite them in the arse and get rid of them!

  2. NMac May 12, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    What is it these nasty corrupt Tories keep banging on about, “If you”ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear”? Seems appropriate in this case that the quote is credited to the arch-Nazi, Joseph Goebbels. It appears the Nasty Party has got a lot to hide. Let’s hope the next court we see them in is the Old Bailey.

  3. Thomas May 12, 2016 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    If they end up with 33 by elections and lose enough of them, they will be in a minority government. And if they turn again to the Liberal Democrats, all they’ll get is a scornful laugh. Helping the Tories a second time would lose the Liberal Democrats all their last eight remaining seats.

  4. JoAnn Chateau May 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    May justice prevail!

  5. MarkG May 12, 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Do you notice the looks of the two Torie boys have at the back. Vey disturbing. Hello my names Dave and would you like to come and see and play with my collection of pig heads. Seriously the shredders have been working overtime and I think these Torie criminals yet again are going to get away with this. Professor Mariati is a girl guide compared to this criminal organisation..

    • Brian May 13, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      “shredders have been working overtime”, Perverting the course of justice would be an act too far, even for these likable fellows.

  6. casalealex May 12, 2016 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation – Atifete Jahjaga

  7. hayfords May 16, 2016 at 11:54 am - Reply

    There is evidence emerging today that Labour did exactly the same thing and did not declare any costs at a local level for their battle bus. The same appears to be true for the other parties. This appears to support the Conservatives’ view that it was a normal election methodology. Maybe someone will make a formal complaint against Labour now.

    • Mike Sivier May 23, 2016 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      You see, it depends how the ‘battle bus’ was used.
      We have evidence that the Tories used it, not for purposes that constitute national campaign spending, but to support local candidates.
      We do not have evidence that the other parties used theirs in the same way.
      So no – the Conservatives’ view that it was normal is not supported and in any case, the law is the law and the Tory view is neither here nor there.

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