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Electoral Fraud investigation

(206 Posts)
JessM Sun 08-May-16 19:44:15

Not sure that this has had much coverage but it's a potentially explosive issue in Westminster. It's alleged that, during the 2015 campaign, the Tory party failed to account properly for expenditure. There are strict spending limits per candidate and they are supposed to declare everything. The allegation is that Tory central office bussed in squads of activists to work on behalf of local candidates and that the expenditure on hotel bills etc was not shown on the constituency accounts.
Grant Shapps was in charge of the bus full of activists - joint party chairman at the time. He has recently said that accounting for the expenditure was not his responsibility - thus passing the blame on to the current party chairman.
See this article for the constituencies which might be involved.

Devorgilla Mon 09-May-16 09:57:26

Anya, it may seem ridiculous but that is the rule. It safeguards the candidate from allegations of bribery - those who follow it to the letter. As I am sure you know the reason why limits are put on is that the very rich cannot buy their way in as they did in the past.
In some occupations you cannot be an active member of a political party, although you can be a member. I found this out recently when my daughter applied for a position for a Local Authority. The form stated that this post had political restrictions on it. When we looked it up, if appointed, she would no longer have been able to deliver leaflets, canvass, run a Committee room, take up positions in her local party etc - anything that brought her into contact with the general public where she could influence the outcome of anything with a political connection for a particular party.
I agree that some of these restrictions seem petty in the light of modern life but they safeguard the electorate from bribery and corruption and the candidates from such allegations. They also make for a more level playing field. Heaven forbid we go down the route adopted by other countries where money is 'God'.

durhamjen Mon 09-May-16 10:35:43

"That's ridiculous Jen - when we'd all finished canvassing we all adjourned to a local hostlery."

Was that supposed to be an apology, Anya?

annodomini Mon 09-May-16 10:40:16

I was once doing the rounds of a large rural constituency with our candidate. When we had to stop for refreshment, the candidate couldn't be seen to buy any of us even a cup of tea, never mind a half of bitter. If someone from the opposition had seen him paying for drinks, they could have made trouble out of all proportion to the offence.

Ana Mon 09-May-16 12:09:33

It wasn't 'an attack' durhamjen. I genuinely wondered why you never seem to start threads yourself.

durhamjen Mon 09-May-16 12:12:45

I do, Ana. Just not this one.
Does it matter?

Anya Mon 09-May-16 14:52:42

With respect devongilla as I said I DO know the rules having been through the process personally, but I guess you didn't read that post.

It was ridiculous of that person (not Jess) to suggest she couldn't buy her volunteers a brew - she could simply have added it into her election accounts. Skinflint IMO.

Anya Mon 09-May-16 14:53:55

DJ WTF you on about NOW! grin

Jalima Mon 09-May-16 14:58:51

I don't really understand the bribery point - surely if someone is helping a candidate, going on the rounds with them, they are party members anyway (or it is 100% certain they will be voting for that particular party). So buying someone a coffee can hardly been seen as a bribe.

Now, if they started knocking on doors offering incentives to ordinary householders or buying rounds in the pub in exchange for a promise of a vote, that could be seen as bribery - but would that sway anyone? Really?

Granny2 Mon 09-May-16 15:22:24

It will all die a natural death never to be heard of again.

whitewave Mon 09-May-16 15:24:16

The Tories are certainly hoping so

Jalima Mon 09-May-16 15:28:46

Well, this was the headline in that intellectually stimulating publication The Sun:
Gloucestershire Met to investigate allegations the Tories committed Electoral Fraud
What on earth is the Gloucestershire Met?
Does the new Commisioner know something I don't?
It pains me to provide a link, but here it is

Jalima Mon 09-May-16 15:31:27

ITMA - you know, the one with the rhyming name accused of bullying (why would a parent do that?)

Anya Mon 09-May-16 16:20:41

Apologies DJ that was rude of me. Just a tad stressed today.

Anya Mon 09-May-16 16:23:48

Exactly Jalima and, I might add, the Labour MP at the time was canvassing with me, as was the Chair of the County Council, now a Labour MP herself. We saw nothing wrong with enjoying a drink with like-minded people.

durhamjen Mon 09-May-16 17:07:40

Sorry, Anya, what was that apology for?
Swearing at me or thinking I was Jess?

durhamjen Mon 09-May-16 17:08:50

Who paid for the drinks, Anya?
Isn't that the point?

durhamjen Mon 09-May-16 18:11:58

This is quite funny in a way.
The police have to investigate their boss for not declaring expenses.
Looking forward to seeing the result of this one.

Jalima Mon 09-May-16 18:40:37

Torbay is scrapping its elected mayoral system after a referendum - back to having a leader and cabinet system.
Common sense prevails!
Bath and NES voted no to an elected mayor in a referendum

Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of this ridiculous idea which encourages personality cult over sensible decisions.

Jalima Mon 09-May-16 18:41:43

wrong thread I think!
(I followed your link djen and then that jumped out at me)

durhamjen Mon 09-May-16 18:48:47

We tried that one up here, Jalima, and were then told we couldn't be part of the Northern powerhouse so wouldn't be given any extra money.
And there I was thinking that bribery and corruption were illegal.
Gateshead is not joining, so that will be interesting.

Jalima Mon 09-May-16 18:54:50

I hope you don't mind me saying, but Northern Powerhouse is such an annoying name, as are the soundbites that accompany the description

The Northern Powerhouse: One Agenda, One Economy, One North

daphnedill Mon 09-May-16 19:04:46

Are you a southerner, Jalima?

Jalima Mon 09-May-16 19:07:47

I am not saying the concept is annoying, just the names they choose for something so important.

South of where daphnedill?
South of the Northern Powerhouse, yes.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 09-May-16 19:08:38

Sort of in the middle and a bit to the left. I think. smile

durhamjen Mon 09-May-16 19:11:38

Tell that to Osborne, Jalima. He chose it, and the man to run it, who happens to be a Tory MP surrounded by Labour.
That's what is ridiculous and annoying.