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A witness statement by the Electoral Commission revealed that the Tories ignored four requests for more information over their election expenses.

The revelations illustrate the extent to which the Tories are trying to block, hide or just delay police investigation into the growing Tory Election Fraud scandal.

The party ignored legal notices and repeated requests for information from the Electoral Commission four times in total, they revealed in a witness statement.

And all of that related just to the constituency of South Thanet, where Kent Police had asked for an extension to investigate allegations the Tories didn’t properly account for their spending to win the seat.

The Electoral Commission detailed the Tory attempts to ignore and block their investigations in a witness statement when backing the Kent police request.

Here are those four attempts:

On 18 February 2016, the [Electoral] Commission wrote to the [Conservative] Party … and issued a Notice under Schedule 19B paragraph 3 of PPERA. This Notice required the Party to produce material relating to the South Thanet matters. At the Party’s request the Commission extended the deadline for the provision of this material… When the Party formally responded to the Notice, the Commission considered that the Party had failed to comply fully with it.

On 23 March 2016 the Commission issued the Party was a second Notice … The Party did not comply with this Notice…

On 22 April 2016, the Commission wrote to the Party. It gave the Party a further deadline for the provision of the material the Party had failed to provide under two statutory Notices … On 28 April 2016 the Party’s legal representatives wrote to the Commission setting out its rationale for being unable to comply with the Commission’s request by the deadline given.

By letter dated 29 April 2016, the Commission wrote to the Party’s legal representatives and gave a final extended deadline… The party did not provide any further material by that extended deadline.

The information is detailed in this witness statement (via Mark Pack)

Strict election spending limits are there to make sure that political parties have a roughly equal playing field, and that one party cannot use its financial firepower to overwhelm others.

Tories in South Thanet tried to block Kent Police request for an extention but failed.

Currently, across the UK, 18 police forces are investigating 33 constituencies over allegations that election spending limits were flouted to win the local seat.

The judge in the South Thanet case yesterday said:

The consequences of a conviction would be of a local and national significance with the potential for election results being declared void.

More on this story next week…

 

  1. Anne callaghan says:

    All Mps involved should be suspended till investigation is over – that includes their voting privliges – the goverent Does NOT have a mandate till proven otherwise

  2. Pat Brennan says:

    I’m surprised that failure to comply with a Statutory Notice issued by a Regulatory Body (in this case the Electoral Commission) appears NOT to be a prosecutable criminal offence. That, at least, should be put right.

  3. Robert Williams says:

    Pat Brennan is right. It’s absurd tat any body should be able to defy the law without legal punishment.

  4. would seem that th “Strict election spending limits are there to make sure that political parties have a roughly equal playing field” art really that strict! break the rules and ignore an y questions, should be a mater of its the Electoral commission asks for info and its refused they should arrest the candidate and his agent and declare that election as void! Yeah like thats likely with the curry Government we have.

  5. I agree that all anne that involved should be suspended with all privilages taken away.the evidence against them all ready makes them guilty before they have been investigsted.battle buses.whay a joke.

  6. Jeanne millinson says:

    Speaks volumes, Tories are stalling for time, simple as. They KNOW they broke electoral rules!!!!!

  7. Ros Curwood says:

    The whole thing is an incredible tangle. The behaviour of the Tory Party over this would fit into some dicitonary definitions of ‘treason’, and the Queen could prerogue parliament. The government cannot prove it has a legitimate majority while this is being investigated, since they seem to have bought the election, which is illegal. So what would happen to legislation passed and for example the validity of the EU referendum? All the MPs being investigated would under normal circumstances be suspended from duty. The press and media have been extraordinarily quiet about it, no speculation, opinion, hyperbole, not a lot of comment. Wonder why? Now if it was Jeremy Corbyn…..

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