Theresa May gave an interview to discuss her party receiving a record-breaking fine over the Tory election fraud scandal. The Fact Check team went through her answers, and found three lies in just 90 seconds of footage:
We cooperated fully…
May starts by stating that her party “complied fully with the Electoral Commission” (the election watchdog). This contradicts the Electoral Commission’s own report on the scandal which states that “the party hindered and caused delay” to the investigation. In fact, the Electoral Commission says it had to threaten the Conservative Party with High Court action over its refusal to hand over key documents. And even then, cooperation was minimal.
About that fine
May says the matter is closed. Because the Electoral Commission has fined the Tories and the party will pay it. But the Fact Check team delved into this one too.
First, the fine is less than what the Electoral Commission accuses the Conservatives of hiding from their expenses declarations. To stop at this fine would make it simply the cost of winning an election. One might argue, a pretty good deal for a corrupt party.
Second, this is far from over. Police have handed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) files on 20 MPs. This comes after their investigations into hundreds of thousands of pounds of unreported campaign spending. Also, the Conservative Party Treasurer at the time of the undeclared expenses has been referred to the Metropolitan Police. Expect this scandal to get deeper and darker in coming weeks and months.
The watchdog ate my homework
The Prime Minister also states that “there are some issues that the party itself raised with the [Electoral Commission] through their investigations”. But doesn’t mention any of them. She failed to clarify what these issues were, and did not comment further on the investigation. The likely purpose of this statement was a misdirect. To leave viewers with the sense that all was not well with the investigation, but without providing any evidence to support her assertion.
What is the election expenses scandal?
The Canary was the first UK media outlet to gain the testimony of whistleblowers who lifted the lid on the election expenses scandal.
There is evidence to suggest that the Conservatives may have overspent (in secret) on marginal seats. These are where just a few hundred votes were the difference between victory and defeat. Given the government’s narrow majority, if these seats are re-run, the government could fall with it. You can read The Canary’s previous reports here.
Channel 4 News has operated virtually alone in the established media on this story for over a year. And Michael Crick and his team have traced the scandal all the way to May’s chief-of-staff Nick Timothy. So the rest of the media – scenting blood – have now belatedly joined the attack.
The Conservatives are already considering their sacrificial lambs. But with Crick’s work establishing clear evidence of collaboration all the way to Downing Street, this could be turning into Britain’s Watergate moment.
– Sign the petition calling for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May.
Featured image via Facebook
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?