— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) March 4, 2017
Could this be another scalp for Michael Crick?
The Times is reporting that the Tory GE2015 election expenses investigation, first brought to light by Channel 4`s Michael Crick, is getting to a point where charges could be be brought.
“.. Downing Street is “deeply worried” about the outcome of a police investigation into claims of expenses fraud during the 2015 general election.
Senior figures fear that the results of up to half a dozen constituency votes could be declared void — causing hurried by-elections — if prosecutors decide to make an example of the party. Criminal charges against key individuals are also possible.”
The cases are about allegations that the Tories exceeded the maximum expenses limit in a number of key marginals where there are strict rules on how much can be spent on constituency campaigns.
After the election the agents and candidates sign formal statements that there declaration of expenses is an accurate one and if there is any action then these people are thought likely to be the ones singled out.
It will be recalled that the Tories exceeded by some margin the projections of how many seats their national vote share would produce for them.
A police source quoted by the Times said “that files were expected to be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service within weeks”.
One of the seats which has been highlighted is Thanet South where the Tories beat off a challenge by UKIP’s Nigel Farage.
It is really hard to assess where this will lead and whether we could see by-elections in what were key marginals two years ago.
The Tories would feel confident seeing off a LAB challenge in seats where the red team was their main opponent. Nigel Farage and some of the LD seats they took could be a completely different proposition.