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Probe opens into Momentum 2017 election spending

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into whether Momentum breached spending rules at this year’s general election.

The Electoral Commission said yesterday that it would look into whether the campaign group’s spending breached the limits for non-party campaigners after it helped Labour gain 30 seats.

Spending is limited to £31,980 in England, £3,540 in Scotland, £2,400 in Wales and £1,080 in Northern Ireland for the regulated period, which in this year’s case stretched for 12 months before the June 8 ballot.

Commission records show that Momentum supposedly spent £38,742.54 in total across the UK during the general election campaign — £257.46 below the £39,000 limit.

The Commission will also consider whether returns submitted by the group, which was founded in 2015 as a grassroots movement to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid, accurately recorded donations and payments relating to the 2017 campaign.

Its director of political finance and regulation and legal counsel Bob Posner said: “There is significant public interest in us investigating Momentum to establish the facts in this matter and whether there have been any offences.

“Once complete, the Commission will decide whether any breaches have occurred and, if so, what further action may be appropriate, in line with its enforcement policy.”

A Momentum spokesman said: “Much of the Electoral Commission investigation refers to a series of administrative errors that can be easily rectified.

“Our election campaign was delivered on a low budget because it tapped into the energy and enthusiasm of tens of thousands of volunteers across the country.

“We have a good working relationship with the Electoral Commission, and will fully comply with the investigation going forward.”


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