THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY MUST BE FULLY INVESTIGATED ON ELECTION FRAUD ALLEGATIONS
SNP MP Pete Wishart has today written to the Metropolitan police asking them to fully investigate the Conservative Party and its role in the serious allegations surrounding the campaign expenditure of Conservative Party candidates in the 2015 General Election. In a dramatic escalation in what has come to be known as ‘Tory election fraud’ first uncovered by Channel 4, Mr Wishart says that the Conservative Party central office, and its office bearers, must be properly examined to see if there was any systematic circumvention of electoral legislation.
Claims centre on whether costs for transport and accommodation for bus-loads of Conservative activists to marginal seats should have been declared by candidates contesting their seats as part of their submissions as ‘candidate expenditure’.
Where there are several police forces investigating individual Conservative 2015 candidates, Pete Wishart MP, has asked the metropolitan police to examine whether the national Conservative Party attempted to subvert the Representation of the People Act by fraudulently including this candidate expenditure as national expenditure.
Tens of thousands of pounds were spent on Conservative activists on accommodation and transport in target constituencies, in assistance of particular candidates and local campaigns. This was all subsequently accounted for as ‘national’ expenditure.
Speaking today Mr Wishart said.
“Where many 2015 Conservative candidates are being properly investigated by a number of police forces across England over their campaign expenditure it is now time for the Conservative Party as a whole to be looked at.
“The national Conservative party must address their role in these serious allegations and be properly investigated to see if it systematically subverted the Representation of the People Act.
“There is no doubt that the activists, accommodation, busses and other transport were co-ordinated by the party nationally and this was passed of as national expenditure, even though this activity was specifically targeted to support individual candidates.
“These are very serious allegations and the penalties for those guilty of election fraud could result in large fines and even imprisonment. There are also concerns that the 2015 election was fraudulently won with a co-ordinated breach of electoral legislation.
“I have therefore asked the Metropolitan Police to properly investigate the Conservative Party and if evidence is found prepare a submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“Nothing is more important than the integrity of our democracy and the British public have to be absolutely satisfied that no party won an election by breaking the rules in place to ensure that these elections are fair.”
Enclosed is Pete Wishart MP’s letter to Craig Mackey, Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
Dear Deputy Commissioner Mackey
Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police.
I am asking you to investigate the Conservative and Unionist Party and its responsible office bearers over the very serious allegations of electoral fraud uncovered by Channel 4. I am asking you to investigate whether there has been a serious breach of the Representation of the People Act 1983.
Currently there are some 10 Police forces investigating the electoral expenditure of some 28 Conservative candidates who contested the 2015 General Election. The complaint is that candidate expenditure was accounted for as ‘national’ expenditure in contravention of sections 73, 75, 76 and 82 [of] the Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA 1983).
Where the ongoing cases will take their legal course the Conservative Party as a whole must be properly investigated to ascertain if there was any systematic attempt to circumvent electoral legislation defining candidate and national expenditure. If evidence is found of wrongdoing I am asking you to submit that evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
I am asking the Metropolitan Police to investigate because the Conservative and Unionist is located within your jurisdiction and because of the national responsibilities you have to uphold electoral legislation.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to a speedy response.
I enclose a link to the detailed investigation of these complaints by Channel 4.
Pete Wishart MP
Perth and North Perthshire
The House of Commons