UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has criticized England’s public prosecuting agency for letting the rivaling Tories get away with breaking the rules on campaign spending, saying money should not be the determining factor in an election.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced Wednesday that it was not going to press any charges against the Conservative Party over allegations that its candidates had under-declared their 2015 local and nation campaign expenditure.
Corbyn said he was “surprised” by the CPS’s decision to drop all charges.
“They have to make a judgment on it, but our election laws must be enforced and must be adhered to,” the opposition leader said on the sidelines of a Labour education conference in Leeds.
“There are strict spending limits for a reason so that money can’t buy power, only votes in the ballot box,” he added.
Back in 2015, Tory candidates were accused of passing off hotel and campaign material bills as national spending rather than local. This, in theory, could allow them to broaden campaigning activities in their constituencies without going beyond the spending caps.