Vince Cable: ‘Nothing to apologise for’ over election spending
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has said his party has “nothing to apologise for” after two of the party’s MPs came under scrutiny over election spending.
Christine Jardine, MP for Edinburgh West, faced questions yesterday after recording a third of her campaign outgoings under national spending, helping to keep her under the limit for local expenses. Earlier in the week, the party’s deputy leader Jo Swinson came under fire for omitting nearly £7,000 from her expenses return.
But Mr Cable said there was “no question of anything wrong whatsoever”.
"My understanding is it's absolutely completely above reproach, that there's absolutely no question of any impropriety and what's happened is it's a complex process apportioning costs, but the party has followed advice,” he said.
"There's no question of anything wrong whatsoever, nothing to apologise for. As far as I'm aware no official complaints have been made and from what I understand there's no basis for making them."
Ms Jardine, who won her seat narrowly, said she was “following the rules to the letter”, and insisted the spending was linked to the national campaign.
“The money which was spent on the national campaign was spent on the national campaign and the money which was spent on the local campaign was accounted for in the local campaign,” she added.
Ms Swinson has also denied any wrongdoing after thousands of pounds were listed as either paying for campaign literature that was not used, or attributed as national spending.
“All Liberal Democrat candidates follow the clear guidance they are given about election spending, and our party’s compliance team are in constant dialogue with the Electoral Commission to ensure that we are abreast of the latest advice and abide by their requirements,” a party spokesman said.