Lord Falconer, a former Labor minister, wrote to the Met Police Commissioner and Director of Public Prosecutions calling for a probe into what he said were “exceptional serious allegations”. The complaints relate to allegations made by Brexit Party heavyweightsNigel Farageand Ann Widdecombe, who said the Tories offered jobs toBrexit Partycandidates to get them to stand aside.Boris Johnsoncategorically denied the allegations in an interview ITV’s Robert Peston yesterday.
Lord Falconer said the matter needed to be investigated as a matter of urgency and must be looked at by police in order to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the election.
He said that as breaches of the 1983 Act may have taken place, he is “formally requesting that the Director of Public Prosecutions do institute the necessary investigations and commence such prosecutions as he sees
Eight leading Brexit Party members claimed they had been offered peerages if they withdrew from the general election.
Mr Farage claimed he had repeatedly been offered a seat in the House of Lords in an attempt to persuade him to “go quietly”.
He said that when that failed, people working “deep inside Number 10 “had tried to bypass him, going directly to senior Brexi t Party figures and suggesting eight of them could be made peers if they could persuade him to withdraw more of his candidates.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that there may have been “conversations” between senior Tories and people in the Brexit Party, but flatly denied there had been any offers of peerages, saying that was “just not the way we operate”.
The Metropolitan Police said: “The MPS has received two allegations of electoral fraud and malpractice in relation to the 2019 General Election.
“The MPS special inquiry team is responsible for investigating all such criminal allegations. Both ****** are currently being assessed.
“The MPS will not be providing comment about individual cases.”
Commenting on the letter on BBC Radio 4’s Today Program, Michael Gove said: “I’ve got great respect for Charlie Falconer (Lord Falconer) but I think that sounds pretty nonsensical to me.”
The Met are currently assessing the complaints.
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10. 58 am update: Boris steps out to speak to traditional Labor voters in Mansfield
Boris Johnson is out in Mansfield today speaking to traditional Labor households.
Surprisingly he got a warm reception by some voters, as one voter tells him: “I’ve always been labor … but now I’m with you!”
Mansfield is a battle ground seat, as the Tories hope to take it fromthe incumbent Labor MP.
10. 25 am update: Nigel Farage not responsible for Met compaint, it is claimed
ITV’s Paul Brand has said neither of the allegations were passed to the Met by the Brexit Party itself, as Nigel Farage is still compiling a dossier.
But he says the Brexit Party continue to claim that a mid-to-high ranking Downing Street official has been involved in dissuading Brexit Party candidates to stand.
10 am update: Labor MP calls for ‘full investigation’ into electoral fraud allegations
Labor’s Andrew Gwynne calls for a “full investigation” into “serious allegations”.
He saaid: “For Michael Gove to fail to deny that the government has used jobs and peerages to pressure candidates from another party to not stand in an election is shocking “.
9. 53 am update: Former Labor MP brands election ‘boring’ and ‘tedious’
Former Labor MP Lord Mann has described the general election campaign as “boring” and “tedious”.
The non-affiliated peer and Government adviser on anti-Semitism told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Saturday: “It’s lackadaisical, it’s tedious I think. Like the rest of the country I’m thinking, is this the best they can throw together?
“Shall we say it’s a slow start?”
9. 36 am update: Tories’ are being economic with the truth ‘over claims No 10 offered Brexit Party candidates jobs
Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib has said he is aware of a number of his collegues being offered Government roles if they were to step down from running in the general election.
He told Sophy Ridge: “I am aware that a number of my colleagues have been pressed, Ann Widdecombe I know was offered a negotiating position from someone from No . 10. “
Mr Habib said he did not know the total number of Brexit Party candidates who had been approaced but he did accuse the Tories of being “economic with the truth”.
He said: ‘I am saying they are being economical with the truth, it has been going on witho ut a shadow of a doubt. “
9. 30 am update: Sir Vince Cable brands Boris Johnson ‘dishonest’ and ‘a bit of a phoney’
Former Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has called Boris Johnson “dishonest” and has criticized The Prime Minister for his slow reaction to flooding affecting northern areas in the UK.
He told Sophy Ridge: “Well if it had been Tony Blair or David Cameron they’d have been there on day one.
” And they would have conveyed empathy, which Johnson doesn ‘ t.
“I mean, the Tories regard him as a great electoral savior. I’m afraid I don’t think he’s showing signs of that.
“I think to be a really top class politician, an effective Prime Minister, you have to have this ability to empathise with people and their problems, and he doesn’t.
“He comes across as dishonest, a bit of a phoney, and his record of dishonesty unfortunately shows through, and he just didn ‘ t come across right. “