The Conservative party is facing a police inquiry over its election spending and organisation after being fined a record £70,000 for “numerous failures”. The party did not accurately report campaign spending at the 2015 general election and three by-elections in 2014 according to the Electoral Commission, Britain’s elections watchdog. It is the largest ever fine levied by the commission, which has also referred Simon Day, who was party treasurer at the time, to the Metropolitan Police over the incorrect returns. Prosecutors are already considering police files on at least 12 Tory MPs over allegations that they overspent during the election campaign.
The commission said on Thursday that the Tories’ spending returns were missing payments worth at least £104,765. Separate payments of £118,124 were either not reported or incorrectly reported. The party also did not include the required invoices or receipts for 81 payments, to the value of £52,924.
The commission also criticised the Conservatives for failing to maintain records of the amounts it invoiced to candidates in three by-elections in Newark, Clacton and Rochester & Strood in 2014.