Liberal Democrats fined £20,000 for undeclared election spending. When we will hear about the Tories?

Nick Clegg emerges from the Liberal Democrats’ election tour bus in May 2015 [Image: Jonathan Brady/PA].

Nick Clegg emerges from the Liberal Democrats’ election tour bus in May 2015 [Image: Jonathan Brady/PA].

If any Lib Dems scoffed at Labour for having to pay £20 grand because of the ‘Ed Stone’ (and other undeclareds), they’ll need to eat a bit of humble pie.

This Writer is more concerned that this does not indicate a direction of travel regarding the ongoing investigations into Conservative Party election spending.

As far as I can tell, none of the undeclared Labour or Lib Dem expenditure is being suggested as having changed the result of the general election in particular seats.

But if the Conservative MPs under investigation turn out to have broken the rules, it seems far more likely that they took their Parliamentary seats illegally.

With around 30 Tories under suspicion, and the party’s majority in the Commons standing at much fewer, the outcome of the whole election is cast into doubt.

That is a much more serious offence – which of course is why the police are investigating.

We will need to keep a watchful eye on events, to ensure the Conservatives aren’t let off lightly – if any guilt is proved.

The Liberal Democrats have been hit with a maximum £20,000 fine by the Electoral Commission for failing to declare hundreds of items of campaign spending at the general election.

The watchdog has notified the police of a possible electoral offence after 307 payments totalling £184,676 were found to be missing from the Liberal Democrats’ spending return “without a reasonable excuse”.

In addition, invoices supporting 122 out of the 307 payments were
missing from the return. It found the declaration to the Electoral Commission may have been signed recklessly, as there was evidence indicating some people in the party knew it was incorrect.

The Lib Dems said it was a result of “human error and failure of process”. However, Bob Posner, the director of political finance at the Electoral Commission, said there were “systemic failures in ensuring that the rules were being followed”.

Source: Lib Dems fined £20,000 for undeclared election spending | Politics | The Guardian

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9 thoughts on “Liberal Democrats fined £20,000 for undeclared election spending. When we will hear about the Tories?

  1. NMac

    This and the last Labour Party case of overspending were isolated incidents which didn’t change anything. However, the 29 Tory cases under Police investigation are all in seats which were highly marginal. The fact that 29 are under investigation is evidence of a deliberate and planned system of fraud. I would suggest that fines alone would not do justice the such deliberate and systematic cheating.

  2. Dez

    There is a distinct wiff of elite interference and dirty tricks going on here. Why are the Cons being protected by the system when as reported above the Cons have gained the entire power of Government by the alleged use of additional money to support their winning paliamentary seats that were in the balance. This would be far more of an important issue than loser Lib and Labour non-compliance and a few token fines. So why is no one on the Cons case but ok with showing off audit diligence with political parties that lost the election….what the hell is going on here there is a wiff of one sided corruption from regulators who should know better to understand that UK power has been grabbed by underhand Cons electoral spending. Why no updates, why no media attention can the audit/investigation diligence be even trusted? Surely some of the contested Cons seats should have been dealt with by now.

  3. Marty

    In the interests of truth and fairness Labour had already been fined £20,000, the maximum, for the same thing before the Lib Dems, Mike.

  4. Barry Davies

    Who knows what may come next, the £8 million overspend of tax payers money by the remain campaign perhaps, although that one is already well known to have happened.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Do you mean the leaflet that the Conservative Government – not the Remain campaign – funded and distributed?
      I tend to agree with you that it was a waste of public money. The different organisations should have funded and produced their own material, not relied on the public to pay for it.
      But that’s Tories all over, isn’t it? They use your money in the hope that they profit.

  5. Joan Edington

    And it couldn’t happen to a better bunch. They still owe Police Scotland (£10,000 I think) for the policing of their conference 2 years ago. I wonder if they’ll stump up on this one.

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