Tag Archives: Craig Mackinlay

Tory corruption: They’re planning a law to allow MPs to break electoral spending limits

MPs, election candidates and party officials will be able to break election spending limits with impunity if the Tories pass a new proposed law.

The intention is to create a new “test of authorisation” – a buffer between candidates and the current law that would stop them being accountable for funds donated by outside bodies such as national parties.

This would, of course, also let Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party off the hook over the funds it may be receiving from foreign organisations intent on perverting the course of UK elections.

But the Tories won’t care about that.

They reckon they can still count on receiving more money in donations from their rich cronies than any other party, and apparently want to use that money – so electoral law must be subverted.

In This Writer’s opinion, it is utterly corrupt. What do you think?

Conservative ministers are drawing up a law to protect MPs and party officials from prosecution if their national parties overspend during elections, leaked documents have shown.

The move follows the conviction in January of Marion Little, a Tory party organiser from head office, and the acquittal of the MP Craig Mackinlay after they were accused of breaking electoral law as the party fought off a challenge from Nigel Farage in Thanet South.

In an email sent three weeks ago to Theresa May and the cabinet secretary, Mark Sedwill, the government outlined plans for a new “test of authorisation” so MPs and election agents were no longer held automatically responsible for resources donated by outside bodies, such as national parties.

Transparency campaigners have said they believe the move is an attempt to avoid future prosecutions and would overturn a ruling by the supreme court.

Alexandra Runswick, the director of Unlock Democracy, said a “test of authorisation” would give candidates and party officials another level of defence from prosecution. “Such a move would not appear to be about reinforcing and strengthening electoral law. This would instead protect party candidates and open up the possibility of outspending rivals.”

Source: Tories draft electoral law to protect MPs if parties overspend | Politics | The Guardian

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One MP is acquitted as a file on another goes to the CPS. When will the Tories learn how to handle cash?

Acquitted: Craig Mackinlay, pictured here on the election campaign trail in 2015.

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay has been cleared of breaking expenses rules in the 2015 general election.

Party worker Marion Little carried the can for falsifying election expenses instead.

She was said to have been “carried away by her conviction” that the party must defeat Nigel Farage in the 2015 general election. A jury at Southwark Crown Court found her guilty of two counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence under the Serious Crime Act 2007 – but acquitted her of a third count of the same offence.

She was given a nine-month suspended sentence and fined £5,000.

Mr Mackinlay had been accused of failing to declare spending of up to £66,600 – which would have meant he had spent more than double the legal limit – a strict £52,000.

His election agent Nathan Gray, 29, from Hawkhurst, Kent, was earlier acquitted of making a false election expenses declaration.

Sentencing Little, the judge Mr Justice Edis accused Conservative party headquarters of “a culture of convenient self-deception” and “inadequate supervision” which allowed Little to break the law.

Mr Edis said Little falsified documents then presented them to Mackinlay and his election agent Nathan Gray for signing, which “they did so in good faith not knowing what she had done”.

The judge said she was “carried away by her conviction” that defeating Farage was an “overwhelmingly important political objective”.

So there y’go. The Tories had inadequate supervision which allowed them to deceive themselves, signing false documents in good faith. Okay?

And now the police have passed a file on alleged expenses irregularities by This Writer’s MP, Chris Davies, to the Crown Prosecution Service.

It seems he was solely responsible for handling expenses of this kind and is claiming he made an “honest mistake” in claiming for furniture and pictures to decorate his constituency office. Some of us might question why he needed to buy decorations using money from the public purse.

Mr Davies is accused of manually creating two invoices for £450 and £250 rather than submitting the full £700 claim for the pictures by computer.

He has previously said that he repaid the £450 sum, which was charged to a start-up fund for new MPs to set up offices.

Will the court agree, or find that he has done enough to make amends for his “honest mistake”?

We’ll see.

But one thing is clear: People are getting tired of hearing about alleged expenses irregularities connected to the Conservative Party.

If these people can’t keep their books properly, they’ve got no business being in elected office.

And certainly no business running a nation’s economy.

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Election fraud trial: Expenses of Tory MP who defeated Nigel Farage in election may have been forged, court told | The Independent

Craig Mackinlay (left) campaigning with Boris Johnson ahead of the election [Image: PA].

Reproduced without comment, in order not to prejudice proceedings:

A Conservative MP’s expenses form for his general election campaign may have been forged, a handwriting expert has told the politician’s trial.

Craig Mackinlay, 52, is on trial alongside his staff after they were accused of overspending in his successful bid to beat the then Ukip leader Nigel Farage to the seat of South Thanet, Kent, in 2015.

Mr Mackinlay, his election agent, Nathan Gray, 29, and campaign manager, Marion Little, 63, have all denied deliberately filing false expenditure returns.

Mr Gray’s signature appeared on the declaration form but Oliver Thorne, a forensic scientist specialising in handwriting, said this was an “imitation” and that there were also “significant differences” to show the writing on the form was forged too.

The culprit is not likely to be Ms Little or Mr Mackinlay, he added.

Mr Mackinlay, an accountant by profession, was elected to Parliament on 7 May 2015 with a majority of around 2,800. His declared spending came in under the strict £52,000 limit.

But jurors have been told his victory could have been made void if up to £66,000 of undeclared spending on staffing, accommodation and advertising was included on returns.

Source: Expenses of Tory MP who defeated Nigel Farage in election may have been forged, court told | The Independent

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‘Patronising’ and ‘misogynist’ Tory pilloried for ‘on your bike’ remark

Craig Mackinlay made the “flippant” remarks at a Conservative conference fringe meeting

Craig Mackinlay is the only MP to have been charged with electoral fraud after the investigation into spending by the Conservative Party during the 2015 general election.

His trial is due to begin on May 14 next year, and you’d expect him to keep as low a profile as possible until then, wouldn’t you?

But then, you see, he’s a Tory.

So not only does he come out echoing Norman Tebbit, who told people his government had slung out of work to get “on your bike” and travel the UK looking for jobs that weren’t there, back in the 1980s…

Mr Mackinlay seems to think it appropriate for the Party of Aspiration (ha ha) to tell ambitious, well-qualified young people to get out in the fields, presumably in anticipation of the time the “gorgeous EU women” currently working there get deported by his government.

That’s not “matching the motivation” of EU workers – it is capitulating to the will of an elite minority determined to push down the working majority.

No wonder Mr Mackinlay is backpedalling (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) just as fast as he can.

But it’s too late. He said the words, and the whole country can see exactly how this over-privileged rich boy, whose status as an MP stands in question and could have been gained by crooked means, regards people who have to work for an honest living.

A Conservative MP has been criticised for saying unemployed young people should take farm jobs working with “gorgeous EU women”.

Craig Mackinlay, the MP for South Thanet, told a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference that British youngsters should match the motivation of low-skilled European workers.

He has been branded “misogynistic” and “patronising” by other MPs.

Mr Mackinlay said his “flippant” remarks had been taken out of context.

“I was struggling to think why wouldn’t a youngster from Glasgow without a job come down to the south to work for a farm for the summer with loads of gorgeous EU women working there?” the Business Insider quoted him as saying.

“What’s not to like? Get on your bike and find a job.”

Source: Work with ‘gorgeous EU women’, MP Craig Mackinlay says – BBC News


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May date set for Craig Mackinlay’s trial over election expenses

Craig Mackinlay will face a jury trial [Image: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images].

This is for information only as the matter is sub judice.

We must all wait until after the trial next May (which seems an extremely long wait, considering this is about the 2015 general election) before passing our own judgements on it.

A Conservative MP will go on trial in May next year on charges relating to his 2015 general election expenses.

Craig Mackinlay, who faces a jury trial, is accused of offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983, alongside Marion Little, a campaign director, and Nathan Gray, an election agent.

The South Thanet MP, from Ramsgate in Kent, is charged with two counts of knowingly making a false election expenses declaration, while Gray, from Hawkhurst, Kent, faces one.

Little, from Ware in Hertfordshire, is accused of three counts related to aiding Mackinlay and Gray in making false declarations.

Mr Justice Edis told the three defendants at Southwark crown court on Tuesday that their trial would begin on 14 May, and was estimated to last six weeks.

They are yet to enter their pleas.

In 2015, Mackinlay beat Nigel Farage, who was Ukip leader at the time, into second place with a majority of almost 3,000, taking 38% of the vote.

Source: Date set for Conservative MP’s trial over election expenses | UK news | The Guardian


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