Although The Observer headlined on questions over the legality of Lord Ashcroft’s donations to the Conservative Party, the news about the BNP is also of significance:
It has emerged that the Electoral Commission is to review the accounts of the British National party. The BNP submitted a revised set of accounts earlier this month, following concerns that the original set it had given to the commission had not been approved. Following an assessment of the revised accounts, the commission decided that it is “reasonable to assume” a breach of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act has occurred.
The development is a significant credibility blow to the party’s leader, Nick Griffin, who has attacked MPs for not being transparent in their financial affairs. Senior party members could face a fine or a custodial sentence if the commission proceeds to a formal investigation.