When the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to give the go ahead with charging several Conservative MPs with breaking election expenses rules, it said it needed more time to decide on one case.
Now it has decided on that case. This time the verdict is to go ahead and prosecute both MP Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet) and two others, his agent and a Conservative Party official:
On 18 April we received a file of evidence from Kent Police concerning allegations relating to Conservative Party expenditure during the 2015 General Election campaign. We then asked for additional enquiries to be made in advance of the 11 June statutory time limit by when any charges needed to be authorised.
Those enquiries have now been completed and we have considered the evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
We have concluded there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to authorise charges against three people.
Craig Mackinlay, 50, Nathan Gray, 28, and Marion Little, 62, have each been charged with offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 4 July 2017.
Criminal proceedings have now commenced and it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.
UPDATE: He and his agent were acquited, but the Conservative Party staffer, Marion Little, was found guilty.
Keep up with news about elections by email
If you’d like to be notified by email when new posts about how are how our elections are run appear on this blog, just sign up here. (Note: if you’re already signed up for a daily email alert with all my new blog posts, then there’s no need to sign up for these alerts too as the stories will also be in the full daily digest.)