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Monday 30 May 2016

Tory Expenses - The Keen Activist

Meet Fiona Keen. She’s a loyal and enthusiastic Tory activist. And she was a full participant in Road Trip 2015 during the run-up to last year’s General Election. We know this because she has left a comprehensive record on Facebook, letting us know which constituencies she visited, some idea of the activities she got up to while there, and therefore the mismatch between that and those MPs’ expense returns.
Ms Keen was out there campaigning even before the “Short Campaign” period began, notably in Dover for Charlie Elphicke, where she announced on 15 March “had a fab day in Dover with Roadtrip 2015 including lunch and dinner at the Royal Yacht Club”. Elphicke’s expense return will make interesting reading. It’s still outstanding.
Once the “Short Campaign” began, she was on a weekend Road Trip excursion: “had a fab evening in Downtown Great Yarmouth last night with Roadtrip 2015!” That’s another expense return we need to see. Then, after showing her true colours and telling “apparently 15 million people haven't registered to vote - let's hope they are Red Ed's votes”, she confirmed “fab sunny day in South Thanet arriving by #battlebus with Sol Campbell and Team2015 - we managed to deliver 45,000 leaflets”.
Paid for that in any way? Could prove difficult. Not covered by Craig Mackinlay’s expense return, but then, nor is that Battle Bus. Meanwhile, Ms Keen took part in what appears to be telecanvassing, telling the world “Curry thanks to Conservative Friends of India & Cavass with Boris at CCHQ this evening - calls to Twickenham constituents produced much support for Conservative Candidate, Tania Mathias”. Crikey chaps! Oo-er!!
Then there was more Battle Bus activity in South Thanet: “Stunning sunset in Margate reflected in our fab Battle Bus”. Still no transport costs on Craig Mackinlay’s return. Nor were there any on Anna Soubry’s further north in Broxtowe, and Ms Keen was there the following weekend for a group photo. And guess what? Team 2015 were not finished with helping out Ms Soubry - they went back again.
Ms Keen was, er, keen to let everyone know that she “is off to Broxtowe again with #team2015 on Saturday to support Anna Soubry”. Still no transport costs on that expense return. So was it another Battle Bus journey? Not this time: when Ms Keen told “on the way to Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire with #team2015”, it was accompanied by her sneaking into the First Class seats on a train heading north from St Pancras.
And Anna Soubry’s expense return doesn’t have any train fares on it, either. Then it was on to polling day, as Ms Keen let the world know “is delighted that #battlebus2015's visit to Twickenham, Kingston & Surbiton and Sutton and Cheam yesterday helped to secure a Conservative victory for Dr Tania Mathias, James Berry and Paul Scully helping to secure an overall majority for the Conservative Party”.

Both the Kingston and Surbiton, and Sutton and Cheam, constituency returns have a NIL entry against transport costs. Many thanks to Fiona Keen for shedding a little more light on the Tories’ election operation. It will be interesting to hear the explanations.

1 comment:

Andy C said...

You know where this is all going, dont you? And its not to the criminal courts thats for sure. Had it been wholesale fraud (alleged) on Labour side then of course media and CPS attention would have been all over it.