Let’s put this into perspective.
Election fraud – by “misdeclarations” of expenses after breaking spending limits – is a criminal offence punishable by up to one year in prison.
Each candidate is responsible for his or her own expenses and David Cameron cannot take overall responsibility (although his admission may lead to a very welcome prosecution against him, further down the line).
His attempted justification – that other parties used so-called “battle buses” – won’t stand up because, as far as we know, the other parties used them for legal purposes. We know that the Tory “battle bus” campaign was an attempt to use national expenditure to support local candidates, which isn’t allowed.
And that’s not touching the offences which may have been committed by individual candidates. For example, here in Brecon and Radnorshire a local newspaper carried a four-page “wraparound” advert for the Tories, a week before the general election last year.
This advert, bearing the local newspaper’s masthead, called on readers to vote ‘Conservative’ in the general election. The candidate later became MP but the cost of the advert, running into thousands of pounds, does not appear in his expenses claim.
It is not a national expense because it appears in the local paper and calls on people in a specific constituency to vote Tory.
The expense on this advert alone put This Writer’s (current) MP several thousand pounds over his spending limit – never mind David Cameron’s visit to two sites within the constituency, with his “battle bus” and all the party hangers-on it brought with it.
I also like some of the responses on Twitter.
For example: “So Cameron “misdeclared” expenses? He also misprivatised the NHS; Misdestroyed state education; Miskilled sick & disabled people.”
And: “‘I am not a crook’ – Richard Milhouse Nixon, November 17, 1973
‘I have not done anything wrong’ – David Cameron, May 22, 2016.”
We’ll let the law be the judge of that, David.
David Cameron has admitted it’s possible his party broke spending rules in the 2015 general election.
The PM acknowledged any “misdeclarations or things left out” would have to be resolved and said: “In the end I’m responsible for everything”.
He added: “If there were misdeclarations or things left out we have to put those in place, but I’m confident we can answer all the questions that are being put to us.”
But the Tory leader insisted his officials had not broken the law or done anything wrong after at least 10 police forces started probing the party.
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