Bubbling along, often little reported in the media*, has been a police investigation into whether Conservative MPs broke the law on election expenses at the general election.
Not only does the investigation go to the very top of the party, involving one of Theresa May’s closest aides, it also involves more than enough MPs to wipe out the Conservative majority in the House of Commons. The Electoral Commission has already had to go to court to force the Conservatives to hand over evidence.
Now the The Times reports:
Senior [Conservative] figures fear that the results of up to half a dozen constituency votes could be declared void — causing hurried by-elections — if prosecutors decide to make an example of the party. Criminal charges against key individuals are also possible…
At one stage 24 investigations were taking place into seats where the Tories were suspected of spending more on their campaign than the legal limit. It is believed that this has been reduced to fewer than a dozen investigations in which the police believe the evidence warrants further examination.
Yesterday a police source said that files were expected to be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service within weeks.
* Consider, for example, how few sets of political prognostications at the turn of the year about what lies ahead for British politics even mentioned the chance that the Conservative government will spend a long period of time with senior aides and MPs in the courts on allegations that they cheated their way into power. It’s possible – not certain, but certainly possible – that scandal will be even more engulfing and damaging for Theresa May’s Premiership than it was for the dog days of John Major’s.
Similarly, one seat in the firing line is Thanet South, where Nigel Farage was defeated in 2015. Which is something that speculation over Ukip’s future should really take into account too.
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