Police investigate BNP candidates for failing to submit Croydon election expenses

Matthew Collins - 11 07 14
John Clarke, Clifford Le May and David Clarke stood for the BNP in Croydon in May's council elections

John Clarke, Clifford Le May and David Clarke stood for the BNP in Croydon in May’s council elections

Five candidates who stood in May’s council elections are under investigation by the police for failing to submit their expenses.

The Metropolitan Police has received an allegation that four British National Party (BNP) candidates, and an independent, did not file a return within 35 days, which is a criminal offence.

The accusation is currently being assessed by officers within the Met’s specialist crime division.

The BNP candidates are brothers John and Dave Clarke, who stood in Fieldway, Clifford Le May who stood in New Addington and Heathfield hopeful Michael Collard.

Edward Wentworth-Shaw, an independent candidate who stood in Selhurst, is also under investigation.

Under the Representation of the People Act 1983, the agent of every candidate must disclose their expenses within 35 days of an election result.

That must include a statement of all expenses incurred on behalf of the candidate, as well as payments made by the agent.

John Clarke, who is the election agent for the BNP candidates, admitted to the Advertiser today (Thursday) he had yet to submit the forms.

He said: “We’re waiting for Croydon Council to send the form. I’ve notified them. I sent them an email, but I didn’t get a response.

“I’ve got all my paperwork ready to send to them. I’m waiting for the normal expenses form. I’ve done them before they they haven’t been sent yet.

“I know one of the Conservative candidates quite well and, a couple of weeks ago, I asked him whether he had received his expenses form, and he said he thought he had.

“So I realised I better send [the council] an email. I haven’t heard from them yet. I’ll ring them.”

Mr Wentworth-Shaw, who received 128 votes in May’s election, said the paperwork had slipped his mind.

He explained: “To be honest, I completely forgot. I think I spent about £48 on the entire campaign. It’s not exactly headline news.

“I think I have two receipts which I can pop over one lunchtime and give to them.

“I appreciate [it’s a criminal offence] but to be fair I’ve had no correspondence, no communication, no letters sent over to me in terms of a reminder.

“I’m sure the police won’t be kicking in my door any time soon. I’ll be contacting them to advise what has happened.”

John and David Clarke won 212 and 210 votes in Fieldway respectively. Mr Le May stood in New Addington and received 168 votes. Mr Collard won 285 votes in Heathfield ward.

A Met Police spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received an allegation in relation to a number of candidates for failing to submit election expenses within the stipulated time frame.

“The allegation is currently being assessed by officers from the Specialist Crime and Operations Command.

“No arrests have been made at this time.”

The Electoral Commission said it had not been informed of the allegations, adding that the member of the public who contacted the police had been correct in doing so.

Croydon Advertiser


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