Police seize financial accounts of local Conservative Party association

A set of internal emails from Calder Vale Conservatives has been leaked which paints an unhappy picture of their financial status. One message, from the Deputy Chair of Calder Valley Conservatives, Rob Holden, reads in part:

I am writing to you further to receiving the resignation of Mr Charles Moran as Chairman of the Calder Valley Conservative Association. I feel saddened that he has felt the need to stand down but thoroughly understand his reasons following his extremely poor treatment by certain members of the Association. The accounts (albeit incomplete) have finally been filed with the Electoral Commission.

Attached are the findings of the financial review that I requested back in October 2015 and I have to say that they do not make great reading as far as record keeping and propriety are concerned. Yesterday the accounts of the Association were seized by the Police in connection with enquiries they are currently undertaking; the officer from the fraud and financial irregularities team has been assured that they will receive the ongoing co-operation of the Association with their investigation.

It is not clear what the police investigation is about. As Calder Valley was another Conservative held seat at the general election which Labour had eyes on, it may be this is part of the election expense investigations although the MP isn’t one of those named so far as being underĀ police investigation.

In his resignation statement, Charles Moran had this to say of the state of the local financial records:

There are issues regarding the recording of cash receipts, lack of cash recording with no receipts issued for payments received, missing invoices and a lack of authorisation for expenditure.

He went on to claim:

You will also be aware of the toxic nature of my tenure as Chairman, due to the breakdown in relations with the MP and two officers of the Association. This situation is unacceptable and steps need to be taken to separate the Parliamentary Party from the Voluntary Party. The fact that the MP is able to not only access the Association’s funds without authority from the Chairman or the Executive is a matter of grave concern.

Not a happy state of affairs.

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