REVEALED: How Nick Clegg Cooked the Books for £17,652

clegg

Guido can reveal that Nick Clegg overspent by £17,652 in his Sheffield Hallam short campaign, then cooked the books so his declarations came in under the limit. Clegg’s official declarations claim he spent £14,138.77 in his short campaign:

Yet a second internal budget schedule obtained by Guido reveals Clegg’s true expenditure in Sheffield Hallam. This bombshell document admits Clegg actually spent £36,852.89 in his Sheffield Hallam short campaign. Astonishingly, under the column headed “What you’ve got left”, the figure “- £17,652.89” appears. This is prima facie evidence that Clegg broke electoral law – Clegg overspent by over £17,000…

CLEGG2

Clegg disguised his overspend by declaring £14,120.31 of his Sheffield Hallam spending as part of the national campaign. His Election Address – which by statute, namely the Representation of the Peoples Act, explicitly states is for the local candidate’s spend only – was declared as part national spend. His vehicle hire, room hire and agent costs were all declared as national spend. A further £5,913.45 was then “offset” for local elections and future campaigns. This is classic cooking the books – the document we have obtained admits that in reality all this spending was part of the “Sheffield Hallam Short Campaign Budget”.

A LibDem spokesman says spending was apportioned correctly to the national and other local campaigns in Sheffield Hallam:

“The figure of £-17,652 that you refer to is the amount spent above an indicative figure in a draft template budget. It does not relate to spend over and above an election spend limit. Any claim or suggestion of an overspend on the constituency return is misleading and factually inaccurate… We are confident that all spend has been correctly attributed to the appropriate return.”

It’s there in black and white – “What you’ve got left: -£17,652.89” – that looks like the true figure to Guido…

Police Investigating Tessa Munt Election Expenses

Avon and Somerset Police have received several complaints about ex-LibDem MP Tessa Munt following Guido’s story on her election expenses. Munt, who hypocritically attacked the Tories over their spending declarations, herself failed to declare a battle bus which campaigned in her constituency. Asked about the Munt case, the cops tell Guido:

“Avon and Somerset Constabulary have received a number of allegations in relation to improper spending in the 2015 General Election. We will be applying for an extension to the time allowed to investigate and continue to liaise closely with the Electoral Commission.”

They are in court today applying for an extension to investigate local Tory MPs, which will now apply to Tessa too. She says she welcomes the police investigation. The question for all parties is this: If transport benefited both local and national campaigns, why were the costs not split between the local and national spend as required by law?

Munt Admits She Didn’t Declare Local Campaign Transport

Tessa Munt has confirmed to Guido she did not declare any battle bus costs in her local spend, telling us: “Nothing to declare! Leader’s bus different from activists bus all expenses paid.” The Electoral Commission however say that the a party leader’s transport costs, if used for local campaigning, should be split between the local and national spend. She has broken the rules…

Munt says she only jumped on to deliver some cider and cheese to Clegg’s team, sending us a photo that she reckons proves no local campaigning took place. Hilariously – and dishonestly – Munt cropped out the journalist and cameraman from her local paper. This is what she didn’t want us to see:

Clegg gave the local journalist quotes telling constituents to “vote for Tessa” –  that is demonstrably local campaigning. You can see why they were known as the FibDems…

“Cheated” LibDem Pictured Campaigning on Battle Bus

“My constituents should feel cheated,” whinged beaten ex-LibDem MP Tessa Munt to the BBC about the Tory election expenses scandal. The sore loser went even further on her Facebook page:

“The new Tory MP seems to have cheated the people of the Wells Constituency of a fair and just election result last May. Expenses should not be hidden, but be declared as the law requires.”

Oh should they, Tessa…

This photo shows Munt on the LibDem battle bus on May 5 2015. Nick Clegg used the journey to campaign specifically for Munt, resulting in not one but two stories in her local paper. Clegg told them:

“if you vote for Tessa, not only will you get a wonderful MP, but someone who is a member of a party who wants to balance the books”

Clearly this was both local and national campaigning. The Electoral Commission says the cost of such travel for a party leader and candidate should be split between the local and national spend:

“If the travel promotes both the local candidate and national policies, then a portion of the cost of that bus should be allocated towards the candidate’s spending limit and a portion towards the party’s national spending limit.”

Yet the LibDem battle bus was declared wholly as a national expense. Maybe Munt should take a look at her own failed campaign – and her own election expenses – before crying about how she was “cheated”…

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.[…] Read the rest

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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.[…] Read the rest

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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”.[…] Read the rest

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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”. […] Read the rest

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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 the rest

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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 the rest

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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 the rest

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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 the rest

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