Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay denies wrongdoing over 2015 election expenses

Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay, 50, who has been charged with offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 after an investigation into 2015 general election campaign expenses, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay, 50, who has been charged with offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 after an investigation into 2015 general election campaign expenses, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
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A Conservative candidate facing charges over his 2015 General Election expenses has said he has done nothing wrong.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that it has charged Craig Mackinlay - who defeated Ukip's Nigel Farage in South Thanet - with offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

But in a statement posted on his Facebook page, Mackinlay, 50, condemned the "shocking" decision to prosecute and said he was confident he would be cleared.

"Our justice system is underpinned by the presumption of innocence and I am confident that I will be acquitted as I have done nothing wrong and acted honestly and properly whilst a candidate in 2015, and as all candidates do, acted upon advice throughout," he said.

"Clearly this is a shocking decision by the CPS, given that I've done nothing wrong and I am confident that this will be made very clear as the matter progresses."

Earlier, he received support from Prime Minister Theresa May, who said: "The Conservative party continues to believe that these allegations are unfounded. Craig Mackinlay is innocent until proven guilty and he remains our candidate."

In an earlier statement, the Crown Prosecution Service said that Mackinlay, Marion Little, 62, and Nathan Gray, 28, had each been charged with offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

They are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on July 4.

Mackinlay was elected as MP for South Thanet in 2015 beating Mr Farage - the then Ukip leader - into second place and is the Conservative candidate for the Kent constituency in this year's election.

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