‘TORY ELECTION FRAUD’: MP RAISES CASE FOR QUESTIONING
SNP MP Pete Wishart has again written to the Metropolitan Police regarding the ‘Tory election fraud’ scandal, and has said he hoped David Cameron would be interviewed in the early course of the investigation as the leader of the Conservative Party after a recent television interview where he seems to concede the Conservative Party did break electoral law.
Mr Wishart has provided a transcript of the Prime Minister’s appearance on the ITN Peston show as well as further comments from Conservative Members of Parliament.
The scandal refers to allegations that the Conservative party have attempted to subvert electoral law in mislabelling ‘candidate’ expenditure as ‘national’ expenditure when declaring costs for transporting and providing accommodation for activists in marginal seats during the 2015 General Election – which is in contravention of the Representation of the People Act 1983.
There are now 29 Conservative Members of Parliament under investigation over their election expenses.
Speaking today Mr Wishart MP said:
“At some point the Conservative Party will have to start to take these very concerning charges seriously. The cavalier dismissal of these charges as ‘mis-declaration’, stunts or honest mistakes simply isn’t good enough especially when 29 current Conservative MPs are under investigation for not correctly declaring the costs of transporting activists and putting them up in hotels.
“It is only the Metropolitan Police who can investigate the national Conservative Party and determine whether there has been systematic attempts to subvert our election laws. As such I have sent them further details where the Prime Minister, who in taking responsibility for the national activities of the Conservative Party, seems to concede that electoral law has been broken. The Prime Minister must therefore be in line to be interviewed in the course of any inquiries.
“In very similar circumstances the then Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was questioned under caution by the Metropolitan Police in the cash for honours scandal. Our electoral laws are central to the integrity of our democracy. It is important that this Conservative Government did not win the last election as a result of any fraudulent activity.”
Enclosed is Pete Wishart’s further letter to the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
Dear Mr Mackey
Further to my recent communication can I supply you with further details for my request for an investigation into the Conservative Party over their failure to correctly declare costs for transporting activists and providing them with accommodation during the 2015 General election campaign, in contravention of the Representation of the People Act?
Firstly, it involves an interview with the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party where he all but concedes that the Conservative Party did break electoral law when the party provided transport and accommodation for activists in marginal seats. In a transcript of his appearance on the ITN Peston Show on Sunday the 22nd of May, when questioned over the allegations of misappropriating ‘candidate’ election spending as ‘national’ spending the Prime Minister said:
“If there were mis-declarations or things left out we have to put those in place, but I’m confident we can answer all the questions that are being put to us.”
He also went on to say on his role as Leader of the Conservative Party. “In the end, I’m responsible for everything but I’m very confident that the Conservative Party is gripping this with the chairman Andrew Feldman.”
The Prime Minister describes these activities as possible “mis-declarations” in an attempt to minimise the very serious mislabelling of election expenditure. I do not need to remind you that our electoral laws are in place to preserve the integrity of our democracy and if the law was broken it is simply not good enough to try and to ‘resolve’ them when allegations emerge.
Here is a link to the details of that interview.
Secondly, according to the Huffington Post an unnamed Conservative Member of Parliament revealed that.
“Everyone knows that election expenses are a work of fiction…you can drive a coach and horses through the loopholes.”
This type of cavalier attitude to our electoral laws was also apparent when leading Conservative Party MP and former Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, called attempts to get to the heart of this matter as a ‘stunt’ on the Daily Politics programme on Monday the 23rd.
I also do not need to remind you that there is less than two weeks before the 11th of June deadline in which the legal deadline for prosecutions will pass. Only the Metropolitan Police are in a position to fully investigate if there was a co-ordinated and systematic effort to subvert electoral law.
Finally I leave you with a national petition which is asking the metropolitan police to investigate these allegations from the campaigning group Unlock Democracy:
Thank you for your consideration again.
Pete Wishart MP