Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Momentum under investigation by Electoral Commission

RED BOX | COMMENTDecember 5 2017 12:00am The Times Hard Brexit looks inevitable unless there is a large shift in public opinion to stay Tim Bale RED BOX | COMMENTDecember 5 2017 12:00am The Times Hard Brexit looks inevitable unless there is a large shift in public opinion to stay Tim Bale
Bennie Garza | 07 December, 2017, 13:07

The political group Momentum, who are ardent backers of the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, have been placed under investigation by the Electoral Commission over possible spending breaches.

Momentum - founded in 2015 as a continuation of Mr Corbyn's leadership campaign - was allowed to spend up to £39,000 promoting Labour during the General Election campaign.

It said questions over compliance risked harming voter confidence.

"There is significant public interest in us investigating Momentum to establish the facts in this matter and whether there have been any offences".

It has since grown into one of Labour's most powerful groups, with networks across the country and members elected to key positions in local constituency parties and on the ruling National Executive Committee (NEC).

It will investigate whether far-Left activists submitted a return that "did not include accurate donation information and/or the required declaration stating that the donation return was complete and accurate".

Lansman is now running for one of three new seats on the NEC open to constituency members.

Momentum were a registered non-party campaigner at this year's snap General Election, with the Electoral Commission to investigate the organisation's activities in a number of areas.

Whether Momentum submitted a return that "was not a complete statement of payments made in respect of controlled expenditure".

The group is accused of spending more than the overall limit, wrongly recording donations on its paperwork, handing in incomplete payments reports and shelling out large sums of money without the proper invoices.

Momentum is registered as a "non-party campaigner" and is subject to different spending rules to Labour and other political parties.

The limits are £31,980 in England, £3,540 in Scotland; £2,400 in Wales; and £1,080 in Northern Ireland. If a party gives permission, the campaign can use extra funds but that will count towards that political party's own legal spending limit.

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