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Tue Mar 1, 2016, 08:47 PM

The Tories systematically cheat in elections, says their own campaign manager

In an extraordinary investigation for Channel 4, Michael Crick has uncovered repeated electoral fraud by the Conservative party in the run-up to the 2015 general election. While the rest of the broadcast media largely ignores the story, the party’s own workers are speaking out, calling for an investigation into the Tories’ “systematic” breach of election rules.

...

It was 2014, the year before the general election. David Cameron was fighting off “the Ukip threat”. He had already pledged to hold an EU referendum to keep eurosceptic voters happy. Then one of his MPs resigned, triggering a by-election in Newark – which Ukip thought it could win. Within months, two more by-elections were triggered when the Conservative MPs for Clacton and Rochester & Strood, Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, both defected to Ukip.

...

Channel 4 has uncovered hard evidence that the Conservatives spent more than the legal £100,000 limit in each of the three by-elections. Not just by a few pounds, or by a few thousand pounds, but by well over £90,000 across the three elections.

Then, instead of declaring their overspend, the party submitted misleading expense returns to returning officers – a criminal offence. It kept well over 1,200 nights of local hotel accommodation off the books. Many of those nights were signed for in a personal capacity by Conservative HQ Campaign Specialist Marion Little, who was later awarded an OBE for her by-elections work.

http://www.thecanary.co/2016/02/29/tories-systematically-cheat-elections-says-campaign-manager/

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Reply The Tories systematically cheat in elections, says their own campaign manager (Original post)
Denzil_DC Mar 2016 OP
underpants Mar 2016 #1
Denzil_DC Mar 2016 #2
Bad Dog Mar 2016 #3
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2016 #4
Bad Dog Mar 2016 #5
LeftishBrit Mar 2016 #6
Matilda Mar 2016 #7
Denzil_DC Apr 2016 #8
Bad Dog Apr 2016 #9
Denzil_DC Apr 2016 #10
Bad Dog Apr 2016 #11
Denzil_DC Apr 2016 #12
Bad Dog Apr 2016 #13
Denzil_DC Apr 2016 #14
Denzil_DC May 2016 #15

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Tue Mar 1, 2016, 08:57 PM

1. Works here too

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Tue Mar 1, 2016, 09:03 PM

2. More:

Busted: The 24 Tories and how they 'broke General Election spending rules'

A Mirror investigation today reveals how 24 Tory MPs failed to declare thousands of pounds spent on their election campaigns in marginal seats.

None of the MPs we name below declared the party's controversial RoadTrip battlebuses in local budgets, with Tory HQ picking up the tab instead.

If the estimated £2,000 cost of the bus had been included locally, some of the MPs could have breached strict spending limits.

Five Tory RoadTrip battlebuses crossed the country to help handpicked candidates in the final stages of last year’s election campaign, with head office picking up the tab.

The total cost of this campaign has never been published, but the Mirror has found invoices indicating it was more than £2,000 a day, including pay and expenses for volunteers and promotion costs.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/busted-24-tories-how-broke-7467603#ICID=sharebar_twitter

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 10:34 AM

3. I saw the C4 claims.

I also heard the police wouldn't investigate because it was too long ago. So that's why the Tories have been cutting the police budget.

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Response to Bad Dog (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 11:35 AM

4. According to the Channel 4 site, the Electoral Commission is investigating

Election watchdog extends scope of investigation

The Electoral Commission last month launched an inquiry into Tory general election spending in the Kent seat of Thanet South in 2015, following allegations broadcast by Channel 4 News.

The investigation has now been broadened to cover claims also broadcast by Channel 4 News relating to spending on hotel bills for activists during the 2014 by-elections in Newark, Clacton and Rochester & Strood.

The investigation will now look into whether the bills counted as campaign spending incurred by the Conservative Party which should have been reported to the Commission.

And it will consider whether spending on the by-elections was reported correctly as part of the party’s spending returns for the last European Parliament election and the general election, in accordance with regulations.

http://www.electionexpenses.co.uk/post/140281794153/election-watchdog-extends-scope-of-investigation

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 11:49 AM

5. That's good news I suppose(ish.)

I can't shake the feeling that all that will happen will be some strong words and a desultory fine, at best. If people were to be imprisoned and/or barred from public office for this sort of thing it would stop.

(Just realised what I said, better add a pic.)

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 01:33 PM

6. I have no doubt that they do...

but isn't it interesting that it only attracts attention when their main opponents are to their RIGHT (UKIP)? The party never cheats in Labour-versus-Tory contests??? I doubt it, somehow.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 08:54 PM

7. I rather take it for granted

that they all do. Everywhere.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 03:28 PM

8. Not worth a thread of its own, but a development on the above:

Conservatives admit failure to declare election expenses

Channel 4 News has obtained further undeclared receipts showing more than £38,000 was spent accommodating activists at hotels across the country, as part of the BattleBus2015 campaign. The spending was not declared to the Electoral Commission in accordance with the law.

The investigation has also obtained evidence that the BattleBus campaign was focused on local candidates, suggesting the accommodation costs incurred should have been declared on local candidate spending returns, if so this could constitute a criminal offence.

http://www.channel4.com/news/battlebus-conservatives-admit-election-expenses

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 10:34 AM

9. I saw that one.

They showed a clip of one of the Mps in question being interviewed on local news. He said that central office paid for the hotel bills he paid for the leaflets. By admitting it was his leaflets he seems to have shot himself in the foot.


Only Tory volunteers would need to stay in hotels, Labour will do with sleeping on someone's floor.

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Response to Bad Dog (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 10:56 AM

10. Channel 4 News seem to be going all-in on this,

including empty-chairing the Tory MPs who don't respond to their investigation.

It all ties in with the Mark Clarke scandal that's still bubbling along. The battlebus campaign was his brainchild and empire.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 11:02 AM

11. They're a tenacious bunch.

Which is why the Tories shy away. Osborne was filmed refusing to answer C4 questions. His excuse was that he'd just been interviewed by ITV News which owns C4. Obviously a much easier gig.

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Response to Bad Dog (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 03:06 PM

12. I don't watch many TV news programmes regularly nowadays,

but I'd say Channel 4, and not least Jon Snow, stand out from the pack in general.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 04:26 PM

13. I tend to drift in and out of the BBC

but Channel 4 a lot better. I sometimes see Al Jazeera especially when it's a day like yesterday when the BBC is just about Liz at ninety.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Sat Apr 30, 2016, 05:41 PM

14. This is still grinding on.

Just an update for completeness:

Election expenses: Watchdog requests investigation extension

Following months of investigations by Channel 4 News, the Electoral Commission has requested an extension to the time limit available to pursue possible criminal prosecutions regarding Conservative Party campaign spending returns.

Bob Posner, Director of Party and Election Finance & Legal Counsel at the Electoral Commission said, "The police and the CPS both have the power to apply to the Courts to extend the time limit on bringing criminal prosecutions for electoral offences to allow for full investigations to take place. We have requested that they consider doing this."

Representatives of the Electoral Commission and the Crown Prosecution Service will hold also hold a summit with a number of police forces to discuss the Conservative Party's election expenses next week.

http://www.channel4.com/news/election-expenses-regulator-asks-for-investigation-extensio

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2016, 06:25 AM

15. As folks may be aware, there have been more developments in all this.

The Electoral Commission is pressing ahead with action, and a number of police forces are investigating the bus tour expenditure.

Now there's this as well:

Police asked to investigate Conservative election letters

Police have been asked to investigate claims letters sent in David Cameron's name led to a breach of election law.

The former Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders has demanded Devon and Cornwall Police take action.

A Conservative Party spokesman said they did not fall under constituency spending restrictions because they did not name the party's local candidate.

Mr Sanders, who lost his Torbay seat to Conservative Kevin Foster in the 2015 general election, said: "It is a specific targeted mailshot to a voter in a given constituency saying vote for our candidate in that constituency.

"That has to be a local cost, not a national expense."...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36284335


Here's the end of one of the letters:



The article goes on to outline some developments in the bus tour investigation.

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