MP Craig Mackinlay quizzed over election expenses

Mr Mackinlay beat Nigel Farage in the General Election contest to be MP for Thanet South

Controversy over Conservative election returns erupted past year after claims that busloads of activists were ferried to marginal seats and put up in hotels at the national party's expense, without the costs being listed as "local expenses".

It has also referred to police the Tories' former treasurer Simon Day, who had a legal duty to ensure accurate accounts.

The revelation follows a 10-month investigation by police forces across the country, which could affect several sitting MPs.

Wragg, who said he was interviewed for 15 minutes, said: "I was assured, at the time and now, that the battlebus was a national expense and my election agent was instructed by Conservative campaign headquarters (CCHQ) to treat it as such". Due to the exceptional circumstances of these matters, the Special Enquiry Team applied for, and was granted, an extension to the time limit for criminal proceedings to be brought under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Most Conservative MPs under investigation are refusing to comment on the allegations but have been privately expressing anger that they received incorrect advice from Tory head office that has put them at risk of police prosecution.

The Conservatives have insisted that the busloads of activists sent to key seats formed part of the national campaign spend rather than falling within the lower constituency limits.

"With a police investigation underway into allegations that the Conservative Party overspent, it seems only appropriate that Nigel Farage is also investigated". The party blames an "administrative error" for failing to register some accommodation costs. Mr Quince said he had voluntarily attended an interview under caution at a police station in January.

In a statement posted on his Twitter feed, Mr Quince welcomed the decision by the police but said the complaint against him had been "vexatious and politically motivated".

"This investigation is ongoing, there have been no arrests".

The Conservative party said it accepted the Electoral Commission findings but attempted to downplay them as a "reporting error" and claimed "political parties of all colours have made reporting mistakes from time to time".

The Electoral Commission is also looking into the allegations which followed a Channel 4 News investigation.

The probe centres around hotel bills for Tory aides campaigning for Mr Mackinlay whether or not they should have been included in his official spending return.

In a leaked email to Sir Patrick, Lincoln MP Karl McCartney complained they felt "completely cast adrift" and had been "left to fend for themselves".

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