Kent police are right to investigate the Tories – but what about UKIP’s shady dealings in Thanet?

Nigel Farage is alleged to have overspent by up to £20,000

 

HOPE not Hate (HnH) has called on Kent police to investigate Nigel Farage’s spending in the 2015 election, following the announcement that the Conservatives will be fined a record £70,000 by the electoral commission.

Craig Mackinlay, now MP for South Thanet, has been questioned by the police under caution, over allegations that supposed national spending was in fact routed into his local campaign.

Farage has claimed that the Tories ‘cheated’ in the race and ‘swindled’ the voters. But as ever, he is a precarious occupant of the high moral ground.

HOPE not Hate investigation suggests that in the same campaign — Farage’s seventh in a general election — UKIP spent almost twice as much as it was allowed to. 

‘Many campaign expenses, such as the cost of eight staff, were simply omitted from the expenses returns,’ said Nick Lowles, chief executive of HOPE not Hate.

“Other campaign items were inaccurately recorded in the long campaign rather than the short campaign, where spending limits are lower; and UKIP ignored Electoral Commission guidelines in dividing costs, leading to Farage sharing equally campaign costs with 65 local district and parish council candidates. With a police investigation underway into allegations that the Conservative Party overspent, it seems only appropriate that Nigel Farage is also investigated.”

The 2015 Thanet became a flashpoint in the long-running battle between the Tories and UKIP. It seems neither party can be trusted to stay honest under pressure.

See also: UKIP donor threatens to quit and ‘destroy’ the party if he’s not made chairman

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