Calls for Northampton South MP to ‘pay back’ £30k from election fund dismissed by borough council leader

Former mayor Councillor Les Marriott has called on David Mackintosh MP to pay back �30,000 of donations made to his election campaign - either to the council or the Cobblers.
Former mayor Councillor Les Marriott has called on David Mackintosh MP to pay back �30,000 of donations made to his election campaign - either to the council or the Cobblers.

Further calls were made for Northampton South MP David Mackintosh to “pay back” £30,000 of donations to his election campaign after links emerged between the money and the firm given the rights to develop Sixfields.

Yesterday the BBC’s investigations team revealed three donors to Mr Mackintosh’s fighting fund had recently received almost identical payments from 1st Land, the company given the exclusive rights to build the Cobblers a new East Stand.

The firm, totally owned by Bushey-based property developer Howard Grossman, received £8.75 million of the £10.25 million loan given to the club by Northampton Borough Council in 2013.

At last night’s full Northampton Borough Council meeting, Councillor Les Marriott (Lab, Semilong) suggested former council leader Mr Mackintosh pay the money back.

He said: “I just wondered if the leader (Mary Markham) is going to encourage the former leader to either pay back the money to this authority or at least make a donation to the football club.”

It marks the second time such a call has been made in the council chamber at the Guildhall.

In December last year, Councillor Sally Beardsworth (Lib Dem, Kingsthorpe) made similar calls.

But like Councillor Beardsworth, Councillor Marriott’s request was met with a similar rebuke.

Council leader, Councillor Mary Markham, (Con, Park), said: “There is a police investigation going on, which we cannot cross, and there are two other investigations as well.

“But I have to say that my job is looking after the business of this authority, not looking after the election expenses of our MPs.

“I am sure Mr Mackintosh is well able to answer any questions as well as his election agent, regarding election expenses.

“It’s not a question that should be directed towards me.”