Election Fraud: Britain’s Conservative Party ‘Broke the Law to Win the 2015 General Election’ This is an example of the kind of headline that went around the world earlier this year.
The Electoral Commission Request
The Electoral Commission (EC) alerted to the fact that there may have been overspending by a number of Conservative candidates during the 2015 General Election requested certain account details from Conservative HQ. This was refused. So immediately the question is raised ‘Why was a reasonable and legal request refused? What have they to hide?’.
Eventually the EC applied to the courts for access to the accounts. A move vigorously defended by David Cameron’s government. Again the questions ‘Why? What have they to hide?’.
The details requested by the EC were well within its legal remit to request. They are accounts and figures that should readily and willingly be given to an authorised body by any UK political party to ensure the safeguarding of democracy, and yet the Conservatives fought tooth and nail to keep them secret. However, in May Cameron admitted that his party may have “misdeclared” election spending and added: “In the end I’m responsible for everything”. Well we can all agree with him on that.
A number of police forces then decided there was enough evidence to launch investigations into probable election fraud by the Conservatives. Due to the fact that there is a time limit of twelve months for such investigations to be completed the forces applied to the courts for an extension. Once again the Tories vigorously opposed this in the courts. Once again they lost and the law of the land disagreed with them. Once again we should ask the questions ‘Why? What have they to hide?’. There are currently nineteen police forces investigating twenty-nine Conservative MPs.
Let’s all recall at this stage that it was a probe by the Daily Mail (some may say the right-wing Daily Mail) and Channel 4 News that first uncovered claims that the Tory Party breached campaign spending rules by recording accommodation costs of activists bussed into key constituencies under national expenditure instead of under individual candidates’ limits.
Sixteen Minus Twenty-Nine
Deliberate breach of spending limits – usually around £15,000 – by individual candidates is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or even a one-year jail term.
Any candidate found guilty would be barred from holding public office for three years, triggering a new election.
That’s the consequences of any candidate that breaks the rules of the Elections and Referendums Act 2000. It is quite specific and, as with most laws, ignorance is not accepted as an excuse. So Cameron’s ‘may have misdeclared’ excuse is not permitted in law.
So we are faced with twenty-nine Tory MPs under investigation for electoral fraud. Fraud that if they are deemed to have committed should at least lead to their resignations as MPs. If this is the case with more than sixteen of these MPs then the Conservatives did not win a majority in 2015.
So are the Tories governing illegally? Well not at the moment as the case is not proven. However, if the police enquiries prove candidates withheld accounts that clearly showed that spending limits had been exceeded then this must be construed as deliberate. And that means they are guilty. As the Conservatives were so hell bent on hiding these accounts it seems reasonable to assume this is the case. Time will tell.
An Illegal Government
Without a majority David Cameron had no right to enter Downing Street. He had not received a mandate from the electorate. It may be argued that as the largest party the Conservatives had gained the right to govern. However, that would need to be at the consent of parliament. What applies to Cameron also applies to Theresa May. Perhaps more so as she was elected just by a small group consisting of the Conservative party’s elected members (or in some cases elected members that may be there through fraud).
If the scenario above was to come to fruition then what of the events of the past year? It has been argued that all Acts Of Parliament passed since the 2015 Election would be deemed illegal as they were passed by an illegal government. This would of course include the Referendum. A constitutional nightmare.
So What Next?
We all need to be aware of the ongoing investigations by the police. It must be kept in the light. This is about our democracy and should not be viewed on party lines. It does not matter what ones political preference is. Precedence’s are set by outcomes in the courts and bad ones lead to bad law. If these MPs are found to have breached electoral law deliberately (there are no excuses in law for ignorance remember) then they should be dealt with as the law demands.
Don’t Let It Fade Away
The present government is keen this problem goes away. They have powerful friends. Don’t let these people corrupt the UK democracy any more than they have been allowed to so far. Remember many of these powerful friends such as Murdoch and the Black brothers neither reside in this country or have any interest in it other than what they can take from it. The police forces investigating this possible electoral fraud need to be aware that we, the general public are watching and demand action. Please consider contacting your force if listed below. They will no doubt give a standard answer but will be aware they are being watched. Only by our actions can we expect justice.
We all have an MP. Please consider contacting your MP (especially if he or she is one under investigation). Tell them as guardians of democracy you expect, even demand they do all within their power to uphold it.
We can sit and wring our hands as democracy fades or we can take action. It’s up to all of us in the end.
Police Forces Investigating Electoral Fraud
- Avon & Somerset
- Devon & Cornwall
- Greater Manchester
- Metropolitan Police (London)
- West Midlands
- West Yorkshire