Police clear Adrian Sanders in election expenses investigation

Former Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders has been told by the police that they are dropping an investigation into his election expenses as they found nothing requiring further investigation:

Thanks to a right-wing blogger I’ve had to check my own expense return. Following a complaint from someone based on the blogger’s allegations into my own return the police quite rightly have had a good look.

The Devon & Cornwall police (who should have passed the complaint to another force in my opinion, after all which Police & Crime Commissioner could my Agent or I complain to if dissatisfied with their conduct!) acted on the complaint and requesting copies of election materials from the original suppliers.

Having inspected my expense return and my literature this was their conclusion:

“Initial enquires with regards to these allegations have not provided evidence to support the allegation therefore no further police action will be taken at this time. This includes any consideration of an application to extend time limits for such alleged offences.”

The blogger mentioned is Guido Fawkes, who alleged that allocating part of the costs of Adrian Sanders’s general election freepost leaflet (printing paid for by the candidate, but delivery provided free by the Royal Mail) against the national expense return was a breach of the law.

However, as the Royal Mail’s own regulations make clear, it is permissible to refer to national politics in such mailings. Moreover the Electoral Commission in its advice to the Liberal Democrats ahead of the general election also confirmed that having part of the election address count against national expenses is permissible.

It is therefore no surprise that Adrian Sanders allocated part of his expenses for the leaflet against the national return too, nor that the police then decided they are happy with this approach too.

The only surprise really is that with all those factors lined up Guido Fawkes omitted such key and basic information from his piece…


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