2018 Labour byelection campaign in Upton spent £939.87 but only received £600 in donations, so where did the other £339.87 come from?
Edited 24.1.19 15:46 Since this story has been published, we have been told by the candidate that the missing £339.87 came from Upton Labour Party Branch Funds who were a permissible donor. Their donation was not included in the donations page on the return or as notional spending. Jean Robinson (the candidate) stated, “So obviously, it implied obviously that there’s something’s that has been done wrong, ermm or you know which I’m sure that isn’t the case … I can go through that because I say it was all sent in with obviously receipts et cetera and so on and audited but you know the money came obviously from the Branch Fund and that has obviously gone in with receipts and overspent.”
Recently I inspected the election expense returns relating to the recent Upton by-election held on the 22nd November 2018 at Wallasey Town Hall. Jean Mary Robinson (the Labour candidate) was elected with 1,490 votes (61%) and the second placed candidate for the Conservatives (Emma Louise Sellman) received 705 votes (29%).
The campaign for the second placed Conservative candidate spent £804.26 which was matched by donations from Wirral West Conservatives (£417.26), £37 from Tatton Conservatives, notional staff costs of £250 from Conservative Central HQ and £100 from Wirral West Conservatives (which were notional costs for the use of an office).
However the election expense return for the Labour candidate shows spending of £939.87, but only one matching donation of £600 from the group of Labour councillors on Wirral Council. So where did the other £339.87 come from?
A breakdown of expenditure shows what the campaign spent money on.
Another page shows the list of those authorised to incur expenditure as part of the campaign.
Both candidate and agent sign a declaration to state that the return submitted is complete and accurate to their knowledge and belief (copies of which are below).
It’s a legal requirement (s.81(3)(e) of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983) that the return includes details of each relevant donation, specifically the amount, date accepted and information on the donor. Any donations over £50 have to be checked by the agent or candidate that they are made from a permissible source and their details included in the return.
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