Photo Above: Jo Swinson © David Spender on Wikipedia
Police Scotland are investigating the election expenses of Jo Swinson, East Dunbartonshire MP and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.
The investigation comes after a report published in The Herald in August revealed that there were discrepancies in the expense accounts in the run up to the General Election 2017.
The report alleges that some items, such as leaflets, were listed as unused, and do not contribute towards the total expenditure.
Additionally, over £4000 worth of costs were omitted on the grounds that they were national, party-wide outgoings which were not specific to Ms. Swinson and as a result did not count towards her individual costs.
A Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said:
“This is a classic SNP tactic when they have lost an election. Last year they wasted 13 months of police time with their complaint about the election in Edinburgh Western, and the police found there was no case to answer.
“All expenditure in this election was apportioned correctly and clearly identified in our election return which is a matter of public record. As in Edinburgh Western, we have full confidence that there is no substance to this complaint. We make no apology for fighting as hard as we could to stop the SNP in their tracks. The people of East Dunbartonshire made a clear choice when they rejected the SNP in June.
“With Police Scotland in turmoil as a result of the SNP’s botched reforms, the police have got enough to deal with. SNP boss Peter Murrell should bring to an end this nonsense of making unfounded complaints to the police whenever the SNP are sore about losing an election.”
The Electoral Commission strictly limit election spending and providing false information with regards to election expenditure can lead to a custodial sentence.
Jo Swinson is MP for Dunbartonshire East, having regained her seat in the 2017 election, after being ousted by John Nicholson from the SNP.
Prior to this, Ms. Swinson served as MP for the constituency 2005 – 2015. She was also appointed deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats in June this year.
According to the Electoral Commission, the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK, candidates can spend £8,700 on their election campaign. This figure is subsidised with 9p for every registered voter on the electoral register in the county.
The 2014 Act introduced a £9,750 constituency spending limit on non-party campaigning that promoted the electoral success of political parties or groups of candidates.