Seventeen Westminster Conservative Councillors failed to submit their election expenses by the due date and then subsequently voted on on matters at Council meetings, contrary to the Representation of the People Act 1983. Those involved, include Conservative Candidate for Westminster North, Lyndsey Hall, Deputy Leader of the Council, Robert Davis, Conservative Chief Whip, Melvyn Caplan and Housing Cabinet Member, Daniel Astaire.
In a letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions, David Boothroyd said;
“Representation of the People Act 1983 s. 181: Elections to Westminster City Council
Dear Ms Saunders
Under section 181(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983, I want to draw your attention to an apparent breach of section 81 of the Act. An election of City Councillors was held on 22 May 2014 and the results were declared on 23 May. Under section 81, the election agent of every candidate must deliver a statement of election expenses to the Returning Officer within 35 calendar days, which is 27 June.
I made arrangements to inspect the returns on 29 July, but found that there were no returns from 30 candidates. On the following day, I was informed that the missing returns “had not in fact been submitted” and that they had been delivered that morning, 30 July.
I should also like to draw your attention to the fact that 17 of these candidates were declared elected as councillors, and were therefore subject to the provisions of section 85 of the Act which makes them liable for a fine of £50 if they sit and vote in the council for which the election was held. “
A copy of the letter to the DPP is here DPP letter
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“This is a very serious matter which must be thoroughly investigated by the authorities without delay. The public needs to know that candidates keep to the rules at all times and, when they do not, the relevant sanctions are applied”.