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Police to contact Tory MP Mark Menzies over campaign fund misuse allegations | Conservatives



Police to contact Tory MP Mark Menzies over campaign fund misuse allegations | Conservatives

A Conservative MP who was suspended over allegations that marketing campaign funds have been misused to repay “dangerous individuals” is to be contacted by police over the matter.

Keir Starmer earlier referred to as for a police investigation into allegations that marketing campaign funds have been misused by the Fylde MP, Mark Menzies, who was additionally suspended as a authorities commerce envoy to Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina.

Lancashire police mentioned that whereas no grievance had been made they deliberate to speak to these concerned following studies in regards to the MP, who faces claims that he demanded hundreds of kilos from an aide to repay “dangerous individuals” in the midst of the night time final December.

The Conservatives took motion on Wednesday night time after the allegations have been made public in a report by the Instances. Labour wrote to the Conservatives asking whether or not the get together had referred the matter to the police.

The Tories have but to contain the police and say they are going to determine what to do after concluding their very own inquiry. The chief whip, Simon Hart, handed the matter to his get together HQ three months in the past after being approached by what sources describe as a “whistleblower”.

Menzies mentioned in a press release: “I strongly dispute the allegations put to me. I’ve totally complied with all the principles for declarations. As there may be an investigation ongoing I cannot be commenting additional.”

In keeping with the Instances, Menzies phoned his former marketing campaign supervisor, now a celebration volunteer, at 3.15am one night time in December saying he was locked in a flat by “some dangerous individuals” and wanted £5,000 as a matter of “life and dying”.

Hours later, the sum had risen to £6,500, and was mentioned to have been paid from the non-public financial savings of Menzies’ constituency workplace supervisor. She was reported to have been reimbursed from marketing campaign donations.

Lancashire police mentioned in a press release on Thursday night: “We’re conscious of studies within the media regarding a serving member of parliament. No grievance has been made to the police at this stage. We are going to make contact with these impacted in the end to see whether or not they want to make a grievance.” It’s understood that this may contain contacting the MP.

The case is the most recent alleged misconduct scandal to rock the Conservative get together. It comes after William Wragg, one other MP who has since resigned the Tory whip, claimed he handed over colleagues’ private numbers to somebody who had compromising materials on him.

As many as eight MPs who have been elected as Conservatives in 2019 at the moment are sitting as independents, having misplaced the whip. That is along with others resembling Scott Benton and Peter Bone, who each give up as MPs after parliamentary investigations discovered they breached misconduct guidelines, and David Warburton, who resigned after allegations of misconduct.

Requested about Menzies, Starmer informed reporters throughout a go to to Teesside: “There are clearly quite a lot of unanswered questions in relation to those allegations. Not least why it appears the Conservative get together took so lengthy to behave and whether or not they’ve reported this to the police, who it appears to me ought to be concerned on this.

“I’ll be sincere, there’s a level of frustration as properly. We’re two weeks away from actually vital political and mayoral elections … And but once more we’re speaking about misbehaviour by Tory MPs and if ever you wanted proof of why we have to flip the web page on this … and have a recent begin with Labour, I believe it’s in these allegations popping out at the moment.”

Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, mentioned on Thursday morning that the Conservatives had been conscious of the claims “for some time” however “additional data got here to gentle yesterday”.

In keeping with an account given to the Instances by a supply near Menzies, he requested for the cash after assembly a person he met on a courting web site. The supply mentioned Menzies had gone to the person’s flat earlier than going with one other man to a second handle, the place he continued consuming. Folks on the handle falsely claimed he had been sick and demanded £5,000 for cleansing up and different bills, in response to this account.

The supply near Menzies informed the Instances he paid the cash as a result of he was afraid of what would occur if he refused, however had inadequate funds in his personal financial savings. They claimed he supplied to repay the sum, however that native Tories who managed the marketing campaign funds mentioned he didn’t have to.

Anneliese Dodds, the Labour get together chair, wrote on Thursday to the Conservative get together chair, Richard Holden, questioning what she chracterised as an obvious lack of motion in relation to the “disturbing” allegations.

“The Conservative get together has reportedly been conscious of those severe accusations for over three months. What motion was taken, by whom, and when?” she wrote within the letter.

Dodds additionally requested whether or not CCHQ had suggested these concerned to contact the police and whether or not the get together itself had reported the matter.

A decade in the past, Menzies give up as a ministerial aide after allegations about his behaviour by a Brazilian male escort.

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