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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.

durhamjen Wed 01-Jun-16 23:54:18

Interesting ideas in here from Michael White about why it isn't more prominent in the media.

Also lots of links.

JessM Thu 02-Jun-16 09:20:07

Who knows. There is a lot of other news around. I complained to the BBC and got a very prompt reply that the had been covering it, honestly. So why have so few people heard about it I wonder. I have been wondering how big the constitutional crisis could be if the conservative majority was proved to have been gained through fraud. Would all the legislation they have passed in the last year be overturned? If so would the referendum result be potentially voided if it was for leaving (if for remaining no issue). How does all this work in a constitution that is not written down and who decides? How long would all this take? Any constitutional lawyers in the GN house??
In the meantime the burden is on lots of police forces all working independently, with the Tories delaying the process of handing over documents. We could find that we are into another general election in October for other reasons, and one thing is for sure, there would be a lot of people watching the Tories like hawks next time.

durhamjen Thu 02-Jun-16 11:19:57

That's why the electoral commission should be given more legal rights. They should be able to look into every breach of the rules, not have to hand it over to local police forces.
There should also be a time limit of say a month by which time all the financial information should be with them. As it is, it's only if someone asks to see them that the information comes to light.

durhamjen Thu 02-Jun-16 11:22:15
Only 1499 signatures so far.
Anyone else want to sign up?

petra Thu 02-Jun-16 14:27:52

Signed. Even if, like me, you don't read dj's links, please please sign this one. It's very important.

durhamjen Thu 02-Jun-16 14:35:12

Ha, ha, ha, petra. You obviously do read some of them.

petra Thu 02-Jun-16 15:30:52

I read this one dj because on this subject we agree. I'm more than incensed by this fraud ( because that's what it is ) than I was by ' The duck house' This goes to the heart of everything decent in our country, but I'm not holding my breath.
Thank God for Michael Crick.

durhamjen Thu 02-Jun-16 15:39:00

On that we do agree. Is that a first?

JessM Thu 02-Jun-16 16:21:49

Latest allegation is that Tory HQ have been spending a LOT of money on "market research/canvassing" Over £4 million that they need to explain in detail.

durhamjen Thu 02-Jun-16 16:33:04

Yes, I saw that, JessM.
I also noticed in their list that they had used for some canvassing. I wonder why.

petra Thu 02-Jun-16 16:39:12

jessM In one breath I wish I hadn't read that!!!! As if it couldn't get worse, it has.
Channel 4 have to hire their own lawyer? Where is the CPS? Where is the Electoral Commission? And all the other bodies charged with enforcing the law?

durhamjen Thu 02-Jun-16 16:53:30

They had to hire the lawyer to check before they could put out any facts as they saw them. Otherwise Channel4 would be in court, instead of, hopefully, the Tories.

The problem is that there is no law which states that these financial statements have to be published. They are kept by the polling officer until someone asks for them. It is not up to them to check them and look for discrepancies.

If Michael Crick had just made a programme about one costituency, nobody would care that mush. It's the systemic fraud that's the problem.

durhamjen Thu 02-Jun-16 16:55:15

That much, but maybe mush is better when talking about this government.
Costituency instead of constituency? Another apt misprint.

JessM Thu 02-Jun-16 17:42:10

I believe the original allegations are being investigated by various police authorities. The others are probably with the electoral commission whose role is to investigate and then pass their concerns on to the relevant police force. Their workload must be unprecedented.
I guess that individuals could check whether their own constituency is already involved and right a stiff letter to their local police and crime commissioner asking that this matter be given priority. Has anyone got an up to date list? And what is the latest on the police and crime commissioner that is implicated, having been the agent in the election won by a conservative.

durhamjen Thu 02-Jun-16 19:04:16

Have you read this, Jess?

This is why the electoral commission need to be given more power and have the right to investigate it all.

JessM Fri 03-Jun-16 13:05:00

No I had not.
I just read this though, more on Thanet South, with allegations that a well paid Tory HQ adviser worked full time for the campaign.

durhamjen Fri 03-Jun-16 15:29:05

That's interesting, Jess. I do not see how they can get out of that one.

Did you see the comment at the bottom, that MacKinlay is already on the work and pensions committee. He must be someone's favourite.
Deputy leader of UKIP until he left to join the Tory party in 2005.

durhamjen Fri 03-Jun-16 16:56:31

Kent knows how to do it, Jess.

If they can do this, they can look into Tory electioneering.

durhamjen Sat 04-Jun-16 10:22:07

JessM Mon 06-Jun-16 08:44:11

Latest from the Mirror - Amber Rudd implicated in election expenditure scandal. However as it is not more than 12 months since the general election she is not liable to prosecution.

durhamjen Mon 06-Jun-16 18:10:19

I thought the date was today, not the date of thre election.

durhamjen Mon 06-Jun-16 18:12:50

"The one-year deadline for opening investigations has now passed – or at least, it has for most MPs – so it seems likely that many who won their Parliamentary seats by criminally out-spending their opponents will go unpunished.

If the Conservatives had an ounce of decency about them, they would admit the investigation has undermined public faith in the legitimacy of their government. They should declare the last election void and call another one.

They haven’t done this, and they won’t. Draw your own conclusions."

Gracesgran Mon 06-Jun-16 18:13:26

Mmmm The wheels of justice turn slowly, but hopefully grind exceedingly fine.

JessM Mon 06-Jun-16 18:42:15

This article in the Independent seems to be minimising the seriousness of stealing an election.

durhamjen Thu 09-Jun-16 21:43:49

I do hope this happens.