Watchdog to investigate Momentum over election spending

Morgan Stanley Reports Q2 Earnings More Than Double From Year Before

The grassroots campaign group Momentum is being investigated for alleged breaches of general election spending rules, the UK's electoral watchdog has announced.

Some reacting online made comparisons with an nearly identical investigation into the Conservative party about breaking campaign spending limits during the 2015 election in which some two dozen MPs were implicated.

He continued that there was "significant public interest" in the Electoral Commission investigating the grassroots group given their high profile.

They are £31,980 in England, £3,540 in Scotland, £2,400 in Wales and £1,080 in Northern Ireland - limits which apply in the year leading up to the 8 June election.

Momentum - founded in 2015 as a continuation of Mr Corbyn's leadership campaign - was allowed to spend up to £39,000 promoting Labour during the General Election campaign. Its campaigners played a key role in the June election, mobilising voters in key seats as well as amplifying Labour's message on social media.

Momentum is closely associated with left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and has helped the party attract new voters, contributing to its unexpectedly strong performance at the June vote in which Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority.

Whether Momentum submitted a return that "was not a complete statement of payments made in respect of controlled expenditure".

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It would also examine whether Momentum submitted a return or declaration with inaccurate donation information, and whether that return was complete and included all invoices for payments of more than £200.

Spending rules in regulated periods ahead of general elections are governed by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

In November, Momentum said it had spent £38,743 on the general election campaign.

Bob Posner, the Electoral Commission's Director of Political Finance and Regulation and Legal Counsel, said the investigation would discover whether the rules or law were broken before deciding appropriate action.

A Momentum spokesperson said it would comply with the investigation and blamed administrative issues, saying: "Momentum put a lot of effort and resources into detailed budgeting and financial procedures during the election to ensure full compliance".

What is the electoral watchdog investigating?

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