Socialist Worker

Tory MP is charged over 2015 election campaign expenses

Issue No. 2557

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay failed to declare his expenses

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay failed to declare his expenses (Pic: Craig Mackinlay)

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay has been charged with failing to fully declare his 2015 election expenses.

Mackinlay beat Nigel Farage in the Kent seat of South Thanet at the 2015 election in a bitterly contested battle.

The winning Tory candidate then filed expenses of £14,800, just under the legal constituency spending limit.

Police were asked to investigate claims that more was spent.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced Mackinlay, his election agent Nathan Gray, and Conservative Party organiser Marion Little had been charged with offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

They are due to appear at Westminster magistrates court in central London next month.

If convicted, Mackinlay would face up to a year in jail and an unlimited fine. He would be barred from elected office for at least three years.

He defeated the then Ukip leader Nigel Farage in 2015 by 2,812 votes.

Last month, the CPS announced that over two dozen Tory candidates accused of failing to declare the costs of busloads of campaigners in 2015 would not face election fraud charges.

Andre Walker sparked fury after posting a photograph of himself brandishing a sword and issuing a challenge to Isis.

He tweeted a picture from the terrace at Westminster’s Houses of Parliament.

He offered, “A bounty on my head. Any #ISIS terrorist that kills me gets £50k. I’ll give my address. No police. But I’ve got a sword. Good luck.”

The unpleasant Tory once boasted he had that he had “injected poison” into the career of a fellow Tory.

He also was accused of bullying Elliott Johnson, the young Tory who took his own life in 2015.

In a note Elliott wrote that journalist and fellow activist Andre Walker had “betrayed” him. He said the former chair of Conservative Future who organised the busloads of campaigners in the 2015 election, Mark Clarke, had “bullied” him.

There really is no such thing as a free lunch

A firm has sparked fury with a £500,000 staff party called PiggyFest.

Some angry workers at Utility Warehouse, which calls itself The Discount Club, say the cost could be used to cut customers’ bills.

The firm is blowing a fortune on the bash with “unlimited drink” at a plush hotel.

It has invited 5,000 staff, partners and guests to mark its 20th birthday.

Founder and chairman Charles Wigoder said in the company’s magazine, “We think that’s a milestone worth celebrating in style, with the biggest and best party we’ve ever held.

“We’re calling it PiggyFest—a no-expense spared extravaganza of food, unlimited drink, live bands and amazing entertainment.”

But one worker said, “It is meant to be a discount business. It smacks of corporate greed.

“You have to earn your way in by signing up enough customers.”

Utility Warehouse is part of Telecom Plus. Workers, who are described as The Purple Army, work from home to sign up customers.

A message to them about the party says, “We’re making it really easy to earn an invitation by gathering new members.”

Dead racist

Dead racist (Pic: Allan Warren/public domain)

Royal diarist Sir Roy Strong has revealed that he hid the queen mother’s racism because it was “too awful”.

He said one time in the middle of lunch, “The Queen Mother leant over me and said ‘beware the blackamoors’.

“I thought, ‘I can’t put that down, it’s too awful’. But one knows she was colour prejudiced.”

Fight the terrorists by buying my new book

Inevitably after the attacks in Manchester and London security experts pop up to keep us safe.

So as night follows day the Mirror newspaper offered “an ex-SAS soldier has revealed some top tips for surviving a terrorist knife attack—including arming yourself with a pint.”

He said a briefcase to the head of an attacker could prove a good move—though whether one should buy a briefcase specially was unclear.

He added, “A pub garden umbrella could be used as a lance, a stool as a weapon and a coffee in the face could give you time to violently attack.”

The former paratrooper apparently co-wrote Be A Hero: The Essential Guide to Active Shooter Incidents. It is conveniently out in August.

While millions of people cannot afford a house, the number of homes worth £1 million or more has reached almost 400,000.

The figure has “more than doubled” in the past ten years.

It’s been fuelled largely by price rises in London and the Home Counties, according to the estate agency Savills.

Buried news of the week

A financial watchdog decided not to go ahead with disciplinary action against PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) over its audit work for Tesco when a £326 million accounting fraud was taking place.

The explanation? “The executive counsel to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has concluded that there is not a realistic prospect that a tribunal would make an adverse finding against PwC and certain members in respect of the matters within the scope of the investigation.”

In other words the FRC didn’t think it could win so it’s pulled out.

Nice work if you can get it

Retiring Manchester city council boss Sir Howard Bernstein is about to become “strategic adviser” to accountancy ?rm Deloitte.

Research by business website Place North West has established that some 80 percent of recent major city centre planning applications listed Deloitte as adviser.

Manchester council ?gures show that it also used the ?rm directly.

In 2016-17 alone it paid Deloitte £367,000, much of it for advice on regeneration.

Deloitte describes Sir Howard as “the driving force and vision behind Manchester’s impressive achievements in recent decades”.

It said he will also advise on “health and social care, government reform and devolution”.

Deloitte has also advised the council on its health strategy.

Troublemaker wishes him well in his new job.

The things they say

‘If Corbyn carries out half of what he has said he will do, I might clear off to the Bahamas’

Lord Sugar offers some hope

‘It’s not enough to say the bankers are bad, greedy people. They’re human beings also’

Film star Richard Gere worries people don’t like bankers

‘The arrogance of Mears is hair raising. This is a highly delicate issue’

Mark Soave of the Unite union on the decision of a building firm to ban beards on health and safety grounds

‘That’s what gets me up and going, yes!’

Theresa May on Abba’s The Dancing Queen

‘I don’t like his attitude to people and his arrogance’

Artist Tracey Emin on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

‘Having lost Liverpool we couldn’t afford to lose Manchester’

Sun hack on why the paper launched an appeal after the Manchester bombing

‘Jesus Christ himself wore expensive clothes that were given to him’

Bishop Nektary of the Russian Orthodox Church defends a gift of a Toyota Land Cruiser

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