Alex Chalk Under Investigation

A local story for once!

You may have followed the furore over the Conservative Party’s ‘battlebus’ and its declaration of the costs. The Conservative Party have admitted failing to declare some expenditure on the bus, which amounted to £38,000, citing an ‘administrative error’. See details here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36094111

The debate centres largely on whether this undeclared expenditure should count as local spending or not. If it classes as local (which many argue it should since it was focused at a local level) then in certain (marginal) constituencies Conservative candidates may have breached the 1983 Representation of the Peoples Act by exceeding the spending cap.

Alex Chalk’s Cheltenham constituency is one of these constituencies and if the £2,150 cost of the battle bus (for the day) were added to his total expenditure, he would have exceeded the spending cap (of £13,229) by over a thousand pounds.

Gloucestershire police have now launched an investigation into ‘electoral fraud’ :http://www.gloucestercitizen.co.uk/Cheltenham-MP-Alex-Chalk-says-welcomes/story-29270326-detail/story.html

Useful for a number of A Level topics:

Unit 1 Democracy & Participation/Elections – Spending caps are an important way of making elections fair, otherwise those with the deepest pockets can ‘buy’ success.

Unit 1 Pressure Groups – A petition was set up on change.org to encourage Gloucestershire Constabulary to investigate: https://www.change.org/p/gloucestershire-constabulary-investigate-alex-chalk-mp-cheltenham-for-breaching-the-representation-of-the-peoples-act. Over one thousand people signed this petition – participating in politics.

 

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