South Thanet MP grilled by police for six hours over 2015 general election spending

Craig Mackinlay on the election campaign trail in 2015 [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].

The Conservative Party seems to be falling apart over the allegations of election expenses fraud.

Craig Mackinlay was grilled by police for six hours, we’re told, about his campaign in South Thanet, where the Tories were determined to beat Nigel Farage at all costs – including, it has been alleged, legitimacy. Mr Mackinlay has denied all claims of impropriety.

Police could ask the Crown Prosecution Service to bring charges about the South Thanet case as early as March 21 – that’s next Tuesday – according to the Guardian.

Meanwhile it seems Tory MPs in a similar situation to Mr Mackinlay are getting no support at all from Conservative Central HQ. Instead, it seems Tory head office has denied them a chance to see an Electoral Commission report on this matter.

Why would they do that if the report wasn’t damning? They wouldn’t.

So the MPs implicated in the inquiries are panicking – and accusing party officials of trying to save themselves from prosecution.

Doesn’t this imply that there really may have been wrongdoing, and both the then-Tory candidates and CCHQ knew about it?

This Writer certainly hopes police investigators have been keeping a close watch on all those involved in these allegations.

People make mistakes when they panic. This could be a very good thing, in the interests of justice.

A Conservative MP has been interviewed under caution as part of an ongoing police inquiry into whether the party overspent in its campaign for South Thanet in the 2015 general election, when they were up against Nigel Farage.

Craig Mackinlay, the MP who won the seat against the former Ukip leader, is said to have spent about six hours speaking to police about their investigation, which has been ongoing for about a year.

Asked about the interview, a Conservative spokesman said: “We are cooperating with the ongoing investigations.” Mackinlay did not reply to a request for comment.

There is growing panic in the Conservative party about the scale of police probes into election spending, which could affect dozens of MPs. A separate investigation by the Electoral Commission into whether the national party broke election spending limits is also under way and expected to come to a head within weeks.

Separately, a group of Conservative MPs under investigation over their election expenses are growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of support from the party’s headquarters.

One has sent an email to Tory HQ accusing the party of keeping secret a draft of the Electoral Commission report from MPs whose local spending returns are under investigation.

In an email seen by Sky News, Karl McCartney, a Tory MP under investigation who is helping other MPs, accused party officials of trying to save themselves rather than help those who were elected.

Source: Conservative MP interviewed by police over election spending | Politics | The Guardian

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3 thoughts on “South Thanet MP grilled by police for six hours over 2015 general election spending

  1. NMac

    The widespread nature of this fraud, which appears to be identical in every case, I would submit strongly indicates that there has been a widespread and systematic fraud conspiracy here which goes right to the rotten top of the corrupt Tory Party.

  2. Barry Davies

    If there is a report from the Electoral Commission, one way or the other it can be described as evidence, as such if the Police withheld this evidence from the accused it can not be later used in a court of Law, so how and if so why are the conservative party preventing the persons involved having access to it?

  3. Dez

    The local Cons were on Southern TV a week ago making a big statement that Farage had cheated on his Thanet election spends….now it makes sense that this attack may have been a diversion from what was about to hit their dodgy fan. Not saying that Farage is whiter than white but seemed very strange for Cons to kick him so strongly when it was so long after the vote and Farage had lost against most local predictions.

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