Dijen Basu QC instructed on police investigation into the election expenses allegations
Dijen Basu QC has been instructed to advise on a criminal investigation into allegations made against the Conservative and Unionist Party and against various Conservative MP’s and their election agents, arising out of a Channel 4 News investigation.
The allegations centre on the Conservative Party’s Battlebus2015 campaign, where activists were bussed into key marginals in order to campaign in the 2015 General Election. The constituencies concerned include South Thanet, where Nigel Farage was defeated by the conservative candidate. The Battlebus2015 visited 29 constituencies and the Government’s working majority in the House of Commons is only 17.
A person convicted of an illegal practice in an election is liable to a fine and is disqualified from voting or from holding any elective office for 3 years from conviction. A person convicted of a corrupt practice is liable to imprisonment for up to a year and is disqualified for 5 years. An MP convicted of either an illegal or corrupt practice must vacate his/her seat, prompting a by-election.
The Conservative Party, the affected MP’s and their election agents, deny any wrongdoing.