Tory election expenses scandal ‘not something that concerns me at all’ says Sherwood MP seeking reelection

Mark Spencer MP.
Mark Spencer MP.

The Conservative MP for Sherwood has said the expenses scandal enveloping his party is of not something that concerns him – insisting his focus is firmly on victory in June.

Mark Spencer MP has confirmed that he is seeking re-selection from The Conservatives to stand in the general election on June 8, which Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Tuesday.

The MP said he hopes to be confirmed as a candidate next week – and plans to “campaign hard” for the people of Sherwood.

In a statement, Mr Spencer said: “I will be seeking re-selection and will fight my hardest to ensure that the people of Sherwood continue to have a strong voice in Westminster.”

Today, he added: “I’ll be out, meeting constituents on doorsteps. The Conservatives have got a strong message to deliver and I will be working hard to do just that.”

Mr Spencer said the expenses scandal relating to the Tory’s 2015 general election campaign is not a concern as he sets out his policies – despite Nottinghamshire Police submitting a file to the Crown prosecution Service in relation to possible electoral fraud in the county.

Mr Spencer said: “It is not something that concerns me at all. This is a side issue that is going to be resolved.

“I’m focusing on securing victory in the general election – that is all.”

A string of Conservative MPs and officials could be charged with electoral fraud just days before the general election.

They are accused of breaching spending limits by sending activists to key seats and reporting their expenses as part of national campaign spend – rather than constituency spend which has a lower limit.

Prosecutors are set to announce their decisions on whether to bring charges on up to 24 MPs at the end of next month.

The CPS declined to say which constituencies are involved, but said files had been received from Nottinghamshire Police, as well as forces in Derbyshire, Avon and Somerset, Cumbria, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, West Mercia, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, and London’s Metropolitan force.

Mr Spencer said: “In recent weeks we have seen major opposition parties threatening to delay, sabotage and even scupper the Brexit process.

“I believe that the European question has been settled and it is now a question of how, not whether, we should leave. Yet these parties continue to play politics with people’s lives and the country’s future.

“It has become evident that in order to have the strong mandate we need to carry this forward, it is in the UK’s national interest to hold a General Election.

“A vote for the Conservatives will provide the country with a strong and stable leadership, and the Prime Minister with a strong mandate to carry out our plan for Britain.”