George Galloway has filed an election petition with the Royal Courts of Justice this morning to have the Batley & Spen by-election set aside. The move comes following Guido’s exposé that at least four MPs’ offices were used during phone banking sessions during the campaign, none of which were declared in Labour’s election spending returns. Due to Kim Leadbeater’s wafer-thin majority, Galloway calls on the court to allow the case to be heard, and hopes “a free and fair election will soon follow in Batley and Spen.”
The Court petition reads:
“the Labour Party knowingly failed to declare the use of four MPs offices as notional expenditure during phone banking sessions undertaken on the Parliamentary estate, which in effect meant that taxpayers contributed to the cost of the Labour Party’s election campaign.”
Yesterday afternoon Guido looked over the by-election spending returns to double-check the accommodation and administration venues the party declared. Sure enough, the four identified MPs’ offices – Kate Green’s, Matt Western’s, Catherine West’s, and an unknown staffer’s – are nowhere to be seen.
It seems Angela Rayner’s Cox office complaint has opened up a rather large can of worms…