Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay allegedly questioned about expenses

Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay allegedly questioned about expenses

A second Conservative MP has been interviewed by police over his general election expenses, it has been disclosed.

In a statement McCartney said: "The Conservative Party advised us that the so-called campaign "battle buses" were, as at previous general elections and in keeping with the practice of both the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats, a national campaign expense".

The CPS yesterday confirmed that it had received files of evidence from Avon & Somerset, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon & Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Lincolnshire, the Metropolitan Police, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire police.

The Conservative Party denies wrong doing and said it is cooperating with inquiries. "In fact there were some issues that the party itself raised with the Electoral Commission through their investigations", May said.

The watchdog highlighted the role played by a team of national officials based in the constituency during the 2015 general election, including a senior campaigns officer, a senior press adviser and two political advisers.

The row centres on the Tories' use of the election battle bus to campaign in key seats, and whether spending on hotels and campaign material was incorrectly registered as national spending, which has much higher limits than local spending.

Craig Mackinlay, the Conservative MP for South Thanet, has also been interviewed under police caution although Kent olice has not yet decided whether to refer his case to prosecutors for consideration.

Will Quince, the MP for Colchester, said he voluntarily attended an interview under caution last January, but had been told by Essex Police he faced no further action.

Even the former Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps appeared to acknowledge the matter, stating this weekend: "I remember discovering partway through the campaign, I think, that Timothy was actually down full-time in Thanet".

In a statement posted on his Twitter feed, Mr Quince welcomed the decision by the police but said the complaint against him had been "vexatious and politically motivated".

He said: "Politics is not a game".

In a leaked email to Sir Patrick, Lincoln MP Karl McCartney complained they felt "completely cast adrift" and had been "left to fend for themselves".

In November 2016 Mr Morris called for an overhaul of the MPs' expenses system after allegations by a national newspaper that he had claimed driving expenses in the United Kingdom while he was on official foreign trips.

Although they are not named in the report, the advisers have previously been reported to include Theresa May's current chief of staff Nick Timothy, who was an adviser to her in the Home Office.

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