Theresa May defends Conservative election spending as she visits Nottinghamshire

Theresa May defended her party’s local campaign spending records as she visited Carlton.

The Prime Minister arrived at The Richard Herrod Centre, Foxhill Road, just before 2pm today to address local supporters and Conservative politicians.

“It isn’t about how people voted before, this election is about who people want to lead our country for the next five years,” she said.

“This election is about strong and stable leadership for the next five years.”

Mrs May arrived in the county hours after it was announced a number of Conservative figures would not be facing any criminal charges after they were investigated over allegations they broke election spending rules.

The inquiry related to claims some campaigning costs in the 2015 election were wrongly recorded.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had considered files from 14 police forces – including Nottinghamshire.

The service decided there should not be charges for Tories in almost all cases including Nottinghamshire  – but it is still investigating the Conservative campaign in South Thanet.

The Electoral Commission has already fined the party £70,000.

Theresa May addressed reporters and local activists on Wednesday.

When asked about the decision Mrs May told reporters in Carlton: “The CPS has decided that no charges will be brought against any candidate. Candidates did nothing wrong. This is an important point and I have said it a number of times. Candidates did nothing wrong.”

She added: “The investigation did waste police time. We’ve paid our [Electoral Commission] fines, I sincerely hope the other parties are paying theirs. We have always reported expenses according to the results.”

The CPS said earlier on Wednesday, while expenses returns “may have been inaccurate”, it would “not be possible to prove any agent acted knowingly or dishonestly”.

It is the second time in six Mrs May has visited Nottinghamshire.

In April she stopped in Newark to launch her party’s local election campaign.

The general election is being held on Thursday, June 8.

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