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Accountant candidate cleared of election fraud

Craig Mackinlay MP was cleared of election fraud in January 2019. Mackinlay is Conservative MP for South Thanet and is a chartered accountants.

Mackinlay was accused of failing to declare more than £60,000 spent on staff, hotels and advertisements in the 2015 general election. He faced a serious challenge from UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Overspending on election expenses or not properly declaring them are offences under Representation of the People Act 1983.

The charge followed an investigation by Channel 4 News that said that constituency expenditure was wrongly classified as central party expenditure.

In 2017, the Conservative party was fined £70,000 in relation to the matter. [19.01]