MSP Gil Paterson has called the Liberal Democrats an “absolute disgrace” after the party was fined £18,000 for breaching expenses rules during the EU referendum.
In late 2017, the Electoral Commission reported the Liberal Democrats failed to provide acceptable invoices or receipts for 80 payments worth more than £80,000.
It comes as East Dunbartonshire’s MP Jo Swinson, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, is being investigated by the police for alleged inconsistencies in her election expenses.
In 2016, the Liberal Democrats were also fined £20,000 as a result of the Electoral Commission’s investigation into the party’s 2015 UK Parliamentary General Election campaign spending return.
Mr Paterson said: “Very strict rules about election expenses exist to uphold the democratic system and prevent it from being thwarted by those seeking to become legislators.
“This fine from the Electoral Commission shows the Liberal Democrats have cheated the system, and in many cases could have an unfair advantage over opponents.
“The public will be rightly concerned given the party’s deputy leader Jo Swinson MP just here in East Dunbartonshire is under police investigation for her election expenses.
“This is not the first time the Liberal Democrats have been fined. Elections are no longer a level playing field as they have had the advantage many times.
“The Liberal Democrats cannot go on undermining the fabric of democracy, their behaviour has been an absolute disgrace. The public deserve so much better.”
More info: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/journalist/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-donations/liberal-democrats-fined-18,000-for-breaches-of-campaign-finance-rules