Revealed Labour MP faced criminal charges over election expenses but it was

first_imgIn a statement this week, the CPS announced that Tory politicians would not be facing charges in a move that dominated the day’s news bulletins. However it made no mention of the fact that a former Labour MP and their electoral agent had also been cleared.  A former Labour MP was facing criminal charges over election expenses at the same time as Tory politicians but it was never made public, The Telegraph can reveal. The Crown Prosecution Service was handed police files on the Labour politician and their electoral agent earlier this year. This week the CPS decided not to bring charges but – unlike Tory politicians in a similar situation –  made no public comment about the case. The revelation has triggered fresh claims that the election watchdog unfairly targeted Tory politicians and was not “politically neutral”. However sources at the Electoral Commission last night said the specific issue was a police matter and it was up to them to decide whether to go public. The so-called “Tory expenses scandal” refers to whether spending during the 2015 general election – especially on campaign buses – was counted as local or national. Candidates have a strict limit on how much they can spend on trying to get into Parliament which is distinct the amount parties can invest on campaigning nationwide. Theresa May has faced questions from critics, including SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, as to whether she called an early election to distract from the row. This newspaper has learned that while the CPS was considering charges for more than a dozen former Tory MPs, they were also looking into the case of a former Labour MP. It is understood the case referred to the same issue – whether any laws were broken by counting local spending as a national expense – although it is thought not to involve a campaign bus.  Sources at the CPS said that the case was not already in the public domain and therefore it would not have been appropriate to issue a statement. Karl McCartney, the Tory candidate who had been investigated but was told no charges would be brought this week, criticised the handling of the case. He said: “It is shocking to now learn that a Labour MP was being investigated over election expenses from the 2015 general election but that this fact was never made public by either the Electoral Commission nor CPS.”A CPS spokesperson said: “We received a file from police in respect of an allegation relating to expenses incurred by a candidate during the 2015 General Election campaign.“We have now considered the file and concluded there is insufficient evidence for any criminal charges to be brought.”END Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more