Jeremy Corbyn's Momentum allies face Electoral Commission probe

Sergio Conner
December 7, 2017

Britain's Electoral Commission said on Thursday it was investigating campaign group Momentum - which backed the opposition Labour Party at a June election - over whether it breached campaign finance rules.

The democracy watchdog said its probe would look into whether the group's spending breached the limits for non-party campaigners in national elections.

"There is significant public interest in us investigating Momentum to establish the facts in this matter and whether there have been any offences".

According to Commission rules, non-party campaigners must stay within annual "targeted spending" limits - which range from just under £32,000 in England to slightly more than £1,000 in Northern Ireland.

The leftwing grassroots movement, which sprung up in support of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been given much of the credit for the party's success in the June election, during which it deployed thousands of activists and volunteers in key marginal seats.

The group's supporters who include Guardian columnist Owen Jones have repeatedly claimed that Momentum's treatment by the Conservative Government and the media is politically motivated by fear the movement's success in mobilizing voters and potentially contributing the loss of the Conservative Party's Parliamentary majority.

Posner added: "Once complete, the Commission will decide whether any breaches have occurred and, if so, what further action may be appropriate, in line with its enforcement policy".

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

Submitted a return that did not include all invoices for payments of more than £200.

Momentum is registered as a "non-party campaigner" and is subject to different spending rules to Labour and other political parties.

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".

According to Electoral Commission figures, Momentum spent £38,743.

What is the electoral watchdog investigating?

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