Thanet MP quizzed over election spending

A Conservative MP has been interviewed under caution over his election expenses, the BBC understands.

But since then there have been questions about campaign spending.

A separate investigation by the Electoral Commission into whether the national party broke election spending limits is also under way and expected to come to a head within weeks.

"According to the Sun, a Conservative Party source said: "[The police] really put him through the mill, he was there for six hours".

In his statement, Mr Quince acknowledged that once a formal complaint had been made in June 2016, police had had a duty to carry out a thorough investigation.

Allegations centre on whether spending on hotels for visiting activists and certain campaign material was incorrectly registered as national spending rather than locally - potentially taking advantage of a higher ceiling.

The penalties for wrongly declaring local elections are steep, with possible criminal charges for MPs and their election agents.

The Crown Prosecution Service has received files relating to general election expenses from 11 police forces as a second Tory MP revealed he had been quizzed by officers.

Kent Police has refused to confirm reports that Mr Mackinlay was quizzed by officers over the battle for the seat, in which he beat former Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

However, he said that the inquiry has caused stress to his staff and family and he had suffered "reputational damage" while it was carried out.

In June Kent Police were given a further 12 months to investigate the claims of improper spending.

One has emailed Tory HQ accusing the party of keeping secret a draft of the Electoral Commission report from MPs whose local spending returns are under investigation.

The office of the MP, who was questioned on Saturday, said it would not be commenting.

He wrote that his colleagues "feel completely cast adrift by CCHQ/whips/the parliamentary party and left to fend for themselves".

  • Leroy Wright