Last night, Channel 4 News’ Head of Communications announced that the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) – police have already been investigating around thirty alleged cases of electoral fraud by Tory MPs and electoral agents – are looking at commencing prosecutions against ‘over 30’ individuals:
The SKWAWKBOX has shown a number of ‘smoking guns’ in which the Tories’ own words appear to indicate that they knew their spending on their ‘battle bus’ and special campaign measures targeting key seats were local expenditure and not national, which pushed their spending over the legal limit for local campaign spending – and that ‘intent’ in any case is not a factor in the illegality of such actions.
It seems the police and CPS agreed.
The decisions on the prosecutions are due within a few weeks, although Channel 4’s Michael Crick wondered aloud whether the General Election announcment might cause the CPS difficulty in proceeding:
Election could put CPS in difficulty over whether to prosecute MPs & agents over 2015 election expenses. Deadlines late May, early June!
— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) April 18, 2017
There is, of course, absolutely no justification for allowing deadlines for criminal prosecutions to expire simply because Theresa May decided to call a ‘snap’ General Election – but the mere possibility raises serious questions about her motivations for doing so and this should not be allowed to escape voters’ attention.
If the prosecutions went ahead, then the numbers involved would effectively or actually end the Tories’ majority in Parliament – and must surely result in the annulment of the 2015 results in those seats and a flood of by-elections.
If Mrs May has tried to circumvent proper legal processes by her election call, she deserves to suffer the consequences of that.
Not least at the ballot box.
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