Election laws are broken - big money is free to buy our elections
The Electoral Commission has fined the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats for failing to declare election spending in 2015.
But the Crown Prosecution Service isn't going to charge most Conservative MPs and candidates for overspending on their election campaigns in 2015. Authorities have decided to charge Craig Mackinlay MP in Thanet South.
Last week, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it would not be pressing charges against the candidates or agents investigated in connection with the 2015 election expenses scandal. Contrary to Theresa May’s assertion that this proves that her party ‘did nothing wrong’ it more aptly demonstrates how urgently our electoral laws need reform.
As parties scramble to get Prospective Parliamentary Candidates in place, boost fundraising, and write manifestos, a hangover from the 2015 general election lingers - the ongoing electoral fraud investigations against a substantial number of Conservative MPs. There are also wider lessons on campaign spending that still need to be learnt - but perhaps not in time.
After a 13 month long investigation into election campaign expenses the Electoral Commission today handed down the highest fine in its history of £70,000 to the Conservative Party, for violation of electoral law. Unlock Democracy has called for the Electoral Commission to be empowered so it can stop parties from buying elections.