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The Tory MP for Thanet South and his agent have been questioned under caution over their election expenses

March 14th, 2017

The Telegraph are reporting that.

Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay was questioned by Police under caution last week over his election expenses, the Telegraph can reveal.

The South Thanet MP reportedly spent six hours being interviewed by officers over alleged overspending in the 2015 election campaign in which he beat Nigel Farage and Al Murray, the Pub Landlord.

Kent Police are expected to meet with the Crown Prosecution Service next week to discuss a possible prosecution, it is understood, after the force concluded a series of interviews with Conservative staff and politicians about the alleged overspend.

Both Mr McKinlay and his agent Nathan Gray have denied any wrongdoing.

Over the weekend former Tory Party Co-Chairman Grant Shapps dropped Nick Timothy, Mrs May’s Joint Chief of Staff, further into with this investigation with this intervention. (A non pay-walled version is available here.)

I expect Grant Shapps will have enraged Mrs May with this intervention, whilst people shouldn’t assume because someone has been questioned under caution that either charges or a conviction will inevitably follow, however this does present a huge problem for Mrs May, even before we consider the size of her majority. Sometimes in politics perceptions matter more than the facts, and if one of her top aides embroiled in this scandal, it will impact on the running of her government. A few weeks ago The Times ran a story that said “One source close to No 10 said the [election expenses] subject was “occupying as much as 20 per cent of non-governing head space.””

But more MPs are condemning the handling of the investigations by the party.

Does she really have the ability to conduct Brexit negotiations whilst Nicola Sturgeon is pushing for a second independence referendum and fighting by elections and with Nigel Farage looking to break his duck in becoming an MP, only Churchill probably had such a complicated in-tray upon becoming Prime Minister.

TSE