Huhne's Expenses Developments

The former LibDem councillors who recorded conversations about Huhne’s election expenses, and gave the transcript to the Mail, have just had their complaint that Huhne overspent last year rejected by the Electoral Commission. The figures given on the tape included general and local elections so there was no direct evidence of an overspend or that Huhne had any knowledge of it. Some costs can be split if the item is re-useable (as the agent says did in fact happen on tape), so only part of the cost gets declared. There was “no specific evidence that expenditure was under-reported.”

There were also allegations of undeclared donations, though it seems they were actually loans which had been properly declared to the Commission. Huhne has commented saying how grateful he is to the Commission for looking into this “quickly and thoroughly”. Though he should think twice before any sighs of relief…

Yesterday’s Sunlight Centre complaint did have specific expenditure details. Specifics that have led the Commission to say today that they are “urgently considering the allegations”, though due to depth, they will not be able to make the decision to launch a formal enquiry before the weekend.

Despite the protestations of LibDem bloggers, it seems that the Commission doesn’t share Mark Pack’s view thatthere is nothing to see here and hasn’t dismissed the allegations which he has spent the last two days trying to rubbish. Could it be because these same tricks are used by LibDems in other marginal constituencies…




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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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