Elections watchdog to investigate Lib Dem expenses

Chris Huhne now facing two different enquiries

The Electoral Commission have announced they will be conducting an investigation into Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne’s election expenses.

A complaint from the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics elicited this response from the Commission:

“Our assessment of the information indicated that there may be the possibility of an offence under Representation of the People Act 1983.”

In a further development, Eastleigh Labour Party have announced that they are considering submitting a complaint regarding the financing of the 2010 election campaign by local Lib Dems.

A spokesman for the party said:

“The Labour Party in Eastleigh welcomes the Electoral Commission’s decision to formally investigate the Sunlight Centre complaints. The sooner these long-standing allegations are resolved, the better it will be for the people of Eastleigh”

Last week the Electoral Commission rejected a complaint from the Independent Group of Eastleigh Councillors on the grounds of insufficient evidence, however group leader Glynn Davies-Dear has told Eastleigh News that he would be appealing the decision as evidence had not yet been submitted to the commission for them to consider.

“I am appealing the decision of the Electoral Commission. In their Email to me, they make it clear they have questioned the Lib Dems about the meeting in question and appear to claim they have evaluated the evidence I gave them. This is strange because I have not given them any evidence yet: I was, as I clearly stated in my letter to the Commission, awaiting their instructions. I had only stated what form my evidence takes. The commission has not heard the recording of the meeting. In other words, the decision is based entirely on the Lib Dem version of the case.”

The Electoral Commission say they will report back on the SunlightCOPS complaint by August 24.

Photo: crown copyright

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