Political

Electoral Commission has to take legal action to get expenses information from Tory HQ

Channel 4 News election expenses 2015 graphic
Quite remarkable that the Electoral Commission had to take legal action:

The Conservative Party has produced documents about its spending during the general election after the Electoral Commission took court action.

The watchdog applied to the High Court to force the party to disclose the documents as part of an investigation into an alleged spending rules breach.

Within hours, the commission said it had received the documents from the party and was reviewing them.

The allegations relate to accommodation costs of activists on its “battle bus”.

The Conservative Party acknowledges that due to an “administrative error” some accommodation costs for the activists may not have been properly registered, but insists the bus tour was part of the national campaign organised by Conservative campaign headquarters and as such did not have to fall within individual constituency spending limits. [BBC]

(UPDATE: Here is the gory detail about the repeated Conservative stonewalling which provoked the Electoral Commission’s legal action.)

Ten of the Conservative MPs facing police investigation have now been identified but there are more who could be implicated:

A Channel 4 News investigation has so far uncovered £182,000 of allegedly undeclared or misdeclared spending by the Conservatives, across 33 constituencies, potentially involving up to 29 sitting Tory MPs.

It includes more than £100,000 of seemingly undeclared hotel receipts from the three by-election campaigns.

With those sorts of numbers of MPs involved, the Tories could lose their Parliamentary majority, courtesy of the police and the voters.

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