Labour Deny Any Wrong-Doing in Ealing Battle Bus Visit

Follows investigation by electoral commission into Conservative expenses

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The Labour Party is denying any wrong doing in the run-up to the last election after candidates - including Ealing MP, Rupa Huq, failed to declare the cost of visits by the party's battle bus in their local expenses.

It follows an investigation that up to 30 Conservative MPs had help from "battle buses" and didn't declare £38,000 in accommodation costs.

However Tory MPs said that the ' battle bus' practice was common to other parties and expenditure taken from national expenses - police are investigating whether it should have been declared locally.

Political blogger Guido Fawkes revealed that Labour's campaign bus visited more than a dozen marginal constituencies including Ealing Central and Acton where Rupa Huq, defeated Angie Bray by 274 votes to win the last election. He claims this is identical to what the Tories did.

However a Labour spokesperson said: ''The Guido Fawkes story is wrong, this was part of a nationally branded tour so the transport costs are rightly national spend. Labour’s spending is within the law and the rules set out by the Electoral Commission.”

The Electoral Commission hare also investigating the declaration of accommodation costs relating to Conservative campaigns, Labour say their visits did not incur accommodation costs.

Breaching spending limits in a local constituency is a criminal offence and the candidate and agent are liable, with the possibility of fines or imprisonment. It could also result in a by-election.

 

 

18th May 2016

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