Northampton South Conservatives Association and MP will not be investigated by police and Electoral Commission over undeclared campaign donation

David Mackintosh MP
David Mackintosh MP

Police and the Electoral Commission say they will not be investigating donations made to Northampton MP David Mackintosh’s General Election campaign.

Two weeks ago Northamptonshire Police confirmed it had received notification of a “potential complaint” of electoral fraud from Northampton Borough Council.

Officers were looking at an undeclared donation made in 2014 to David Mackintosh’s successful General Election campaign.

But, after the matter was passed to the Electoral Commission, the police confirmed to the Chron today that neither body will be taking action.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: “We have liaised with the Electoral Commission and understand they have considered the undeclared £10k.‎ The Electoral Commission are not undertaking an investigation into this matter and nor are they referring any suspected criminality to Northamptonshire Police.

“On the basis of the Electoral Commission’s position and in the absence of any direct link to the loan made by Northampton Borough Council to Northampton Town FC, we as a force will not be investigating the donations made to David Mackintosh MP.”

Meanwhile, more detail has been given about the events that led to the undeclared donation, worth £10,000 and by Gary Robert Platt, to be overlooked.

Suresh Patel, the chairman of Northampton South Conservatives, who ran Mr Mackintosh’s campaign said there was a delay in the company who made the donation, which is owned by Mr Platt, in providing a letter to accompany the donation.

Mr Patel said Mr Mackintosh had “chased the letter” but it had taken six weeks to arrive.

He said: “When the letter came, I asked one of our assistants to declare it with the Electoral Commission. She said she would, but she didn’t get it done. She left two weeks later so it didn’t get done.”

Mr Patel said it was only when it was pointed out to him two weeks ago that the Platt donation was not on the Electoral Commission’s register that he realised the association’s oversight.

Asked whether he believed anything more could have been done to ensure the donation was declared, Mr Patel said: “No. {David Mackintosh] genuinely tried to get the letter several times. When it did come, there’s no doubt in my mind it was a simple oversight by the office and we take responsibility for it.”

Speaking previously about the donations, Mr Mackintosh said: “All donations have been correctly declared in line with Electoral Commission rules, save one donation in April 2014. This is in the process of being rectified. I was made aware of this administrative error last Monday.”

He also said that all the donations made to his campaign fund were done on the basis of national issues, not local ones.