Election expenses: Prosecutors investigate Tory spending claims

Mr Mackinlay beat Nigel Farage in the General Election contest to be MP for Thanet South

"This meant that they were not to be declared in our own election expenses".

The CPS list does not include Kent Police, which is reported to have interviewed Thanet South MP Craig Mackinlay under caution last week.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "We are co-operating with the ongoing investigations".

It is part of a bigger investigation in which 24 MPs are understood to be under police investigation over claims they over-spent in their 2015 general election campaigns.

Claims about the Conservatives' general election spending - as well as that at three parliamentary by-elections - were raised by The Daily Mirror and Channel 4 News.

He said he did not want a visit from the battle bus campaign at the centre of numerous claims about election spending breaches.

The watchdog concluded that candidates should have partially recorded some items attributed to national spending, including the expenses of activists bussed in to campaign in key marginal seats and a crack team of party officials sent to help organise in South Thanet, the Kent constituency where the Tories were fighting off the then Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

A 12th force - Staffordshire - said it had also passed a file to the CPS.

"Lancashire Police interviewed me and they saw fit not to take it any further", he said.

"We need to make sure that all parties get that through the system and actually we have a fair and satisfactory conclusion which means that those MPs who did nothing wrong, whose election expenses are absolutely as the rest of ours were, are not tarnished".

Craig Mackinlay, now MP for South Thanet, has been questioned by the police under caution, over allegations that supposed national spending was in fact routed into his local campaign.

On Sunday former Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps told The Sunday Times that Theresa May's Chief of Staff was at the centre of the campaign.

Colchester MP Will Quince announced today he had been investigated and cleared by Essex Police.

In his statement, Mr Quince acknowledged that once a formal complaint had been made in June 2016, police had had a duty to carry out a thorough investigation.

The investigation has sparked a Conservative civil war, with a third MP, Karl McCartney, protesting that a draft report into the controversy has been withheld by Tory central office.

The Tories have responded to the fines by suggesting there needs to be a review of how the Electoral Commission's processes and requirements could be clarified or improved.

The latest moves come amid growing anger among Conservative MPs still facing investigation by the police and the Electoral Commission in relation to spending during the 2015 election.

"This matter is now subject to assessment by officers from the Special Enquiry Team".



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