LibDem Who Complained to Police About Tory Election Fraud Broke Spending Rules

Former LibDem MP Adrian Sanders has been at the forefront of police complaints about election spending fraud. He even wrote a template letter for concerned constituents to dob candidates in to the cops:

“The criminal offence allegations if proven are very serious indeed. They may have determined who governs our country. It strikes at the very heart of democracy. It therefore affects everyone whether or not they reside in one of the constituencies mentioned in the media. If you want to help get this matter investigated a letter along the following lines to your Chief Constable might assist…”

Oh really…

The Representation of the People’s Act 1983 states that only candidates can send Election Addresses to voters. It explicitly says that only “a candidate” can “send free of charge for postage” an election communication, and that these must be candidate-specific rather than part of the national campaign. The Royal Mail confirm “a candidate mailing that is designed to secure the election… in another electoral constituency is unacceptable“. By definition candidates’ Election Addresses are therefore local spend and must be declared as such…

Adrian Sanders has confirmed to Guido that this was his invoice for his Election Return. As you can see, the £4,900 cost was split between national and local spend, in manifest breach of the rules:

When Guido phoned up Sanders to ask for an explanation, he angrily replied:

“You’d better report me to the police then. If you think there is an error here, report me to the police.”

He then hung up. If he’d declared it correctly, he’d have been £783 over the maximum limit…

Proof LibDem Battle Bus Did Transport Activists

libs

Following this morning’s story, a LibDem HQ spin-doctor categorically denied their battle bus was ever used to transport activists across the country:

“The only bus we ever had was Nick’s tour bus, which carried journalists and his staff, which is different to offering transport to bring activists into a seat to campaign. I would’ve loved to have the extra money to spend on transporting activists, but it simply didn’t happen.”

The LibDem spokesman insisted a Guardian report claiming the bus was used to transport activists “was wrong”. 

Here is photographic evidence of the LibDem battle bus being used to transport activists:

lib dem battle bus

According to LibDemVoice, these pictures show “Chipping Barnet candidate Marisha Ray and friends about to board“. Inside was campaigner “Alex Feakes and his daughter”. The article even confirms where these activists were ferried: “The bus’s maiden voyage took it from London to Oxford West and Abingdon”. These people aren’t Clegg’s team or members of the press. The LibDem battle bus demonstrably was used to transport activists, despite the party saying “this simply didn’t happen”. You just can’t trust those lying LibDems…

Top LibDem Avoided Overspend By Not Declaring Battle Bus

This video shows the LibDem election battle bus rocking up in Duncan Hames’ Chippenham constituency on April 29 2015. At the time the Guardian reported the bus was used by the LibDems to ferry activists from London to constituencies around the country so they could deliver leaflets. It was used for local campaigning in individual seats, just like the buses hired by the Tories and Labour

Below is the short campaign spending return submitted by Duncan Hames. Despite the bus being used for his local campaign, Hames declared Nil transport costs:

As you can see, Hames’ spending limit for the short campaign was £15,236.61. He came very close to the limit, within just £98, spending £15,138.20. If he had declared the bus in his short campaign spend, Hames would have breached the rules. This is therefore going to be a particularly tricky one to explain. The Tories were at it, so were Labour, and so were the LibDems…

UPDATE: Despite briefing the Guardian that the bus “will take party campaigners around the country over the next six weeks running up to the general election”, the LibDems now deny that ever happened and say this bus was only ever used by Clegg, his staff and press, and no door-knockers. Worth reading the Guardian report of the bus tour however:

“Activists, the majority of whom had been bussed up from London, visited nearby residential streets to deliver leaflets and put up the 300th Lib Dem stake board in the constituency.”

The LibDems say that report was wrong and all of this didn’t happen…

Tim Farron Met With Wall of Groans

The name “Tim Farron” is met with a wall of groans from the Tory benches. Cameron swatted him away with minimal effort…

David “The Jews” Ward Elected in Bradford

Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis has not affected their performance in Bradford, where suspended “zio” hater Mohammed Shabbir comfortably held his seat. Intriguingly he won more votes this time round, since his comments came to light…

LibDem David Ward has also returned to elected office, joining Shabbir and co on what must be a very tolerant and progressive Bradford council. Ward is of course the disgraced former MP who ranted about “the Jews” and the Holocaust time and time again, even while he was a candidate a few months ago. The party did nothing then and they’ve done nothing now. A reminder that the LibDems have an even worse record on dealing with anti-Semitism than Corbyn’s Labour…

LibDems Suspend Thanet Candidate Over Dodgy Donations

George EU Swizzle

Last night Channel 4 further explored allegations of Tory election expense fiddles, interviewing angry LibDems in the South West who claimed it played a part in their wipeout there. Well it appears the LibDems themselves have some questions to answer…

Guido understands the party has suspended its parliamentary candidate for Thanet North from their candidates list. George Cunningham faces a string of allegations of impropriety, including claims that he attempted to bring in donations from abroad during the general election campaign. Cunningham is the chair of Brussels & Europe LibDems…

The irregularities were noticed by his agent who kicked off a long “review” process that eventually saw Cunningham struck off the list controlled by LDHQ’s Candidates Office. He denies the allegations and has launched an appeal, which will be heard on Friday 13 May. What is it with fiddles in Thanet?

Farron Bankrolled By Disgraced Rwanda Spinners

Farron Rwanda

Tim Farron has accepted a £2,000 donation from a disgraced lobbying company which smeared critics of the Rwandan government. BTP Advisers boss Mark Pursey, who used to work for the LibDems, was caught boasting how his firm set up an “attack site” targeting people who “over-criticised” over “who did what in the genocide”. The firm was accused of running a “dirty tricks” campaign in the 2013 Kenyan election, and also acted for human rights violators in Azerbaijan. BTP was paid by some of the most authoritarian regimes in the world, now that money is lining Farron’s pockets…

The LibDem leader even signed a pledge condemning the Rwanda genocide. Yet he is happy to take cash from those who spin for the regime…

MP’s Commons Praise For Key Supporter of Dodgy Deal

Why has Tom Brake taken the unusual step of praising his “apprentice” by name in the Commons? Last month the LibDem MP told the House he “should like to start by paying tribute to my apprentice, Callum Morton”. What he didn’t mention is that Morton is also one of the councillors who signed off on a very fishy million pound discount for a company of which Brake is a trustee. Perhaps Morton deserved the tribute for his other hard work down in Carshalton? 

Morton attendance

Or not – Morton managed just a 53% attendance record for the last year, which is the poorest of any local councillor including those with serious illness. Still, kind of an MP to namecheck the man who rubber-stamped a million pound deal for a company of which he is a trustee…

Tom Brakes Cover To Deliver Dodgy Excuse

Tom Brake Moron

Eco-hypocrite Tom Brake has finally proffered a explanation as to why he was caught with the lights on at his Sutton home during Earth Hour. This was despite having told his constituents to “turn off their lights or show their support for the future of this planet in any other way on the 19th at 8.30pm.” Speaking to the Sutton Guardian, Brake gave them this classic:

“I never said I was going to take part in Earth Hour.”

The glorious Sutton Guardian article goes on:

‘Mr Brake added he “wasn’t able to turn the lights off at this time,” but declined to elaborate.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tom Brakes His Own Earth Hour Pledge

Tom Brake Hypocrite

Yet another example of glaring eco-hypocrisy from Tom Brake. The LibDem MP spent the past few weeks loudly promoting Earth Hour, a green initiative where the whole world supposedly turns their lights off for an hour. Here’s what Brake was preaching in the run up:

“It is crucial that we work towards a sustainable future and make the environment a priority.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

You Can’t Be Soros: Lib Dem MEP Raking It In Off Weak Pound

Catherine Bearder

A Lib Dem MP has been caught bragging that the weak pound has recently meant that her €96,000 pay has risen some 10% in sterling terms. Catherine Bearder laughed telling the Lib Dem’s Regional Conference in Theale that it had been “a good week for me”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Nick Clegg Photographed at Dogging Site

You know how it is, you’re arranging a photo op for the Deputy PM and you accidentally take him to a dogging site. We’ve all done it. Well, no, but former LibDem press officer Ben Rathe did:

“It was the Liberal Democrat Conference 2013, and my role back then was planning all of the visits that Nick Clegg was doing over the course of the 5 days in Glasgow.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Mrs Clegg Cashing in on Brexit

Clegg Brexit

While Nick Clegg is tweeting away about why we should all vote to Remain, his wife is cashing in on the prospect of Brexit. Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, a top lawyer and trade expert at Dechert, is offering advice on how companies can respond if we Leave.[…]

+ READ MORE +

LibDems Blame Public, Media and Blazing Rows

nick clegg sad

A good day for the LibDems to quietly slip out their report into why they were wiped out last May. So, who was to blame? The public of course:

“the weak public understanding of our party and political opinions meant that our move into government was not well understood”

And the media, obviously:

“media system that did not wish to demonstrate that the first peace-time coalition at Westminster could deliver stable government worsened the experience”

Though to be fair, the LibDem report is considerably more candid than Labour’s whitewash.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg “You Are All Bastards”

Nice line in self-deprecation…

See more from The Political Cartoon of the Year awards 2015[…]

+ READ MORE +

Where Are They Now? Simon Hughes Stand-In Junior Press Officer

HUGHES2

Nine months on from losing his seat in May, Simon Hughes has found himself a new gig. The former LibDem justice minister has just been appointed as a maternity cover spinner at the Open University on a year’s contract, where:

He will support the Vice-Chancellor, Peter Horrocks, and report into the university’s Director of Communications, Lucian Hudson. 

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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