More legal trouble for Conservatives as eye-witnesses contradict party’s claims over election expenses

Yet more from Michael Crick on the election expenses scandal which threatens not only one of Theresa May’s two most senior and closest aides but also more than enough Conservative MPs to put their majority in the House of Commons at risk.

With the police due to send their files to the Crown Prosecution Service within weeks, the indefatigable journalist has discovered a pair of eye-witnesses who contradict a key part of the Conservative Party’s defence:

Two members of a Conservative campaigning “hit squad” in the 2015 election tell Channel 4 News the party “cheated” by not properly declaring its election spending…

The Battlebus 2015 campaign sent a fleet of coaches filled with Conservative activists into 29 marginal seats in the final weeks of the 2015 General Election – to persuade voters on the doorstep.

The whole Battlebus campaign is now under investigation – after allegations that Conservative candidates may have broken election law by failing to declare the costs on their local spending returns.

The Party has repeatedly said the spending on the bus tour should have been declared nationally not locally.

But two Tory whistleblowers have spoken to Channel 4 News and cast doubt on that claim.

They say the party is “lying” about what happened on the Battlebus – and is now engaged in a “cover-up”…

But the Kinsells say they were tasked with promoting local candidates,
including being given local briefing papers and seat-specific scripts, being furnished with specific voter data and distributing local leaflets.

Gregg said: “If people are saying, and the MPs concerned in these areas are saying it was part of a greater expense nationally for the Conservatives, that is a lie and an obvious falsehood. In that case I feel especially motivated to go to the police and go to the Electoral Commission.”

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