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The Conservative Party has been fined £70,000 for breaking expense laws.
The Electoral Commission has fined the conservative party £70,000 over substantial expense concerns.
The Commission reported “numerous failures” in reporting its spending in three by-elections in 2014 and the 2015 General Election. These include payment gaps of £104,000 and £118,000, although this was either not reported or incorrectly reported by the commission.
The Party broke the rules by re-locating staff and campaigners from the National Headquarters to help boost local parties and their efforts as well as neglecting to maintain adequate records of expenses and receipts. Furthermore, there were no evident records of the expenditure on the national battlebus campaign that helped Mr David Cameron win a majority vote at the General Election in 2015.
As well as this, the Tories did not involve statements or bills worth £52,924, and they were unsuccessful in their attempts to maintain accounts of the amount of invoice given to the three candidates in their by-elections of 2014, meaning the accuracy of the sums of money could not be confirmed.
The Conservatives accepted this event and claimed that they had made an “administrative error”.
A presenter also added that the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party have been fined previously, and “there needs to be a review of how the Electoral Commission's processes and requirements could be clarified or improved".
But, the Commission's chief executive Claire Bassett told BBC Radio 5 that the inquiry had taken much longer than it should have because of "some difficulties" in obtaining information from the Conservative Party.
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Sir John Holmes said that the Tories failure to follow the rules of the election expense “undermined voters’ confidence in our democratic processes”.
But senior Conservative MP Oliver Letwin stated that spending record "mistakes" were down to "human error", in an interview with BBC Radio 4 today, adding "I don't think you should conclude from this that there is some great conspiracy.”
Twelve different police forces have asked the Crown Persecution Service to think about fines over election expenses, and at least three Tory MP’s have been questioned about their expenses by the Metropolitan Police.
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