Theresa May standing by Tory MPs investigated for election expenses fraud


Theresa May has vowed to stand by the Conservative MPs facing a police investigation over their election expenses.

The prime minister has dismissed calls to prevent any member currently under investigation from standing in the election she has called for June 8.

It is thought more than 30 individuals are referred to in files sent to the CPS by 14 police forces that relate to allegations of breaching spending limits at the last general election.

Mrs. May said: ‘I stand by all the Conservative MPs who are in this House, and who will be out there standing again, campaigning for a Conservative government that will give a brighter and better future for this country.’

She made the statement at a fiery Prime Minister’s Questions after Labour’s Dennis Skinner said this vote could be ‘the most squalid election campaign that has happened in my lifetime’.

The 85-year-old asked: ‘Will the Prime Minister give a guarantee that no Tory MP who is under investigation by the police and the legal authorities over election expenses in the last general election be a candidate in this election?

‘Because if she won’t accept that, this is the most squalid election campaign that has happened in my lifetime.’

Allegations highlighted by Channel 4 News and the Daily Mirror claim Tory activists were sent to key constituencies, but their expenses were wrongly reported as part of national campaign spending rather than local.

Mrs. May was also the victim of a savage burn from former shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.

Ms Cooper said: ‘The Prime Minister yesterday said she was calling a general election because Parliament was blocking Brexit.

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‘But three quarters of MPs and two thirds of the Lords voted for Article 50, so that’s not true, is it?

‘And a month ago, she told her official spokesman to rule out an early general election, and that wasn’t true either, was it?

‘She wants us to believe that she is a woman of her word. Isn’t the truth that we cannot believe a single word she says?’

In response, Mrs. May said Labour, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and the House of Lords had all indicated their opposition to Brexit.


Pound rebounds as Theresa May announces shock General Election

Jen Mills for

The value of the pound has bounced back slightly after Theresa May’s shock announcement of a General Election.

The Prime Minister appeared outside Downing Street this morning to say voters would go to the polls on June 8.

It brought to an end waves of speculation about what the announcement would be, with some suggesting she might have been about to resign.

As investors awaited the statement, sterling fell by almost a cent against the dollar and British government bonds extended gains, with yields on 10-year debt falling to their lowest since mid-October.

News of the election stopped Sterling plummeting, sending it up 0.1% against the US dollar to 1.257, recovering from a 0.3% drop just an hour earlier.

Justifying the decision, Mrs. May said: ‘The country is coming together but Westminster is not.’

She added that ‘division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit’.

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Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: ‘For investors [the election] adds another layer of complexity to an already uncertain picture for UK and European assets.

‘Volatility is likely to remain elevated over the coming weeks. And as elections are so unpredictable, there is always the outside risk it could spark a reversal in the entire Brexit process.

Pound rebounds as Theresa May announces shock General Election

‘However, on the current polling, the likelihood is we will be left with a Government on a more secure footing that will ensure Brexit means Brexit.’

The news sent London’s blue chip index lower, dropping 1.25% or 91 points to 7236 points – weighed down in part by sterling’s rise.

Multinational stocks on the FTSE 100 tend to benefit when foreign currencies are stronger.

Peter Ashton, Managing Director of Eiger FX, said the news was a ‘boost’ to the pound: ‘The markets were quick to price in greater economic and policy stability under what they expect will be a significant majority given the weakness of the opposition.’

Theresa May calls snap general election on June 8th

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