Jurors in South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay election expenses trial reconvene to consider verdict

Craig Mackinlay

The jury in the’election overspend’  trial of South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay and Conservative Party worker Marion Little reconvene today (January 2) to consider their verdicts.

Tory aide Nathan Gray was cleared by the jury at Southwark Crown Court on December 13 of falsifying an election expenses claim.

Mackinlay, 52, denies two charges of making a false election expenses declaration under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Little, 63, of Ware, Hertfordshire, denies three counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence under the Serious Crime Act 2007.

The case, which began in October, centres around claims that hotel costs and other expenditure for activists and party workers were recorded as national election spending rather than local, allegedly to ensure that strict spending limits were not breached.

Jurors were told that Mr Mackinlay, Mr Gray and Ms Little were warned by party colleagues that the campaign was getting “perilously close” to breaching legal spending limits and they faced a “real prospect of a legal challenge from Farage” if they slipped up.

Declared spending on the campaign came in under the strict £52,000 limit set for the MP’s constituency.

However, prosecutors allege that about £60,000 spent on staffing, accommodation, advertising and other costs for Mr Mackinlay’s campaign was not declared.

The parliamentary seat was won by Mr Mackinlay in 2015 with a majority of around 2,800 in an electorate of 70,000.

The jury will resume their deliberations from 11am.


  1. So well over double the legal limit was made on expenses spending! This is simply not something that could possibly be denied as anything but falsification of the books, since it’s on record that they had been previously warned about breaching the legal limits by colleagues. There apparently was only 3 people involved in this and one of them, Nathan Gray, has been found not guilty. That just leaves Craig MacKinlay, an accountant by trade, and his Party worker Marion Little to carry the can. These are professional people who should know what they are doing, there is no defence in court to act as if you didn’t. Which one is guilty? most probably both conspiring together to make sure they won the Thanet South seat that would have likely gone to Nigel Farage and UK Independence Party, this is a serious case of fraud and foul play within party election rules and regulations. We await the results with interest.

  2. The Tory Party do not want Nigel Farage in Parliament. Craig Mackinlay did not pay his own expenses, and any claim from him would have to be regulated by the Conservative Party, who should be aware of limits. Craig Mackinlay is a Brexiteer and former UKIP member who iwas set up as a Patsy by the Tory Inner Circle.

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