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MP faces jury trial over false election expenses

Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay, with his wife Kati Mackinlay, leaving court this morning Credit: PA

A Conservative MP faces a jury trial on charges over his 2015 general election expenses.

Craig Mackinlay is accused of offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 alongside campaign director Marion Little, 62, and election agent Nathan Gray, 28.

Mackinlay, from Ramsgate in Kent, arrived at Westminster Magistrates' Court on this morning with his wife Kati.

The 50-year-old is charged with two counts of knowingly making a false election expenses declaration, while his election agent Gray, of Red Oak, in Hawkhurst, Kent, faces one.

All three defendants indicated not guilty pleas when the charges were read to them and were released on unconditional bail ahead of their next appearance at Southwark Crown Court on 1st August.

Last month, Mackinlay held on to the Kent seat of South Thanet with an increased majority of 6,387, just one week after it was announced he would be prosecuted.


MP due in court for election expenses

Craig Mackinlay is due in court later today over election expenses Credit: ITV news

A Conservative MP will be appearing in court over charges about his 2015 general election expenses.

Craig Mackinlay, the MP for South Thanet is accused of offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 alongside Marion Little, 62, and Nathan Gray, 28.

Mr Mackinlay will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court today.

He denies any wrongdoing.

  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, April 2017

As surprises, go this was one of the best-kept. When Theresa May announced this week, there'd be a General Election in June, no-one was expecting it.

The Commons backed the decision to hold a snap election by 522 votes to 13, formally firing the starting pistol on the election campaign. The Prime Minister urged MPs to "put our fate in the hands of the people"

In the south and south east, what will the people decide? After your votes:-

  • Kelly-Marie Blundell, the Lib Dem candidate in Lewes
  • Henry Bolton, from UKIP in Kent
  • Charlie Elphicke MP, the Conservative member in Dover, and
  • Solomon Curtis, from Labour in Sussex

And we also hear from Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion's MP and the co-leader of the Green Party.

Witney has new Tory MP, but Lib Dems leap to second place

The Conservatives, as expected, won the Witney by-election in the early hours of the morning but their majority - and share of the vote - were well down on what the area's former MP David Cameron managed in the GENERAL election.

Robert Courts won. He was just under 6,000 votes ahead of the Liberal Democrats, who jumped from 4th place to 2nd, with over 11,500 votes. Labour slipped back to third, and the Greens just beat UKIP.

Our political correspondent Phil Hornby reports on a night of drama.

Sussex MP takes centre stage at Tory conference

The MP for Hastings and Rye took centre stage at the Tory conference today. Amber Rudd is the Home Secretary, in charge of the government's policy of getting immigration down.

Also on the agenda today: Theresa May's controversial plans for more grammar schools. From Birmingham, Phil Hornby reports.


Conservatives discuss migration on day 2 of party conference

The problems of refugees and migration had the Conservatives talking at their party conference in Manchester today.

The Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead, Theresa May, told the Tory faithful that uncontrolled migration was bad, bad for the country receiving the influx, and bad for the country experiencing the exodus.

Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby has been listening to the debate, and other issues raised at the second full day of conference.

  1. National

Costs of funeral are a 'fraction' of what people think

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, the man responsible for organising Thatcher's funeral, said the costs are a "fraction" of the figures being "banded around".

Speaking to Daybreak he said: "The state will always pay for the costs of the funeral and memorial of a former Prime Minister and Margaret Thatcher was very adamant she did not want to have a separate memorial service.

"So this is the one occasion when people will get their chance to pay their respects, give her a send off and commemorate what was, by any exception, a really remarkable life."

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