Election 2017

Election results 2017: Fraud charge MP Craig Mackinlay keeps seat

Craig Mackinlay
Image caption Craig Mackinlay's increased his share of the vote to just over 50%

An MP who has been charged over election expenses has held his seat with an increased majority.

Craig Mackinlay has been accused of overspending in the 2015 General Election campaign when he defeated UKIP's Nigel Farage.

He retained South Thanet, increasing his vote from 18,838 to 25,262.

Before the election, Prime Minister Theresa May said the Conservative Party backed Mr Mackinlay, who denies any wrongdoing.

'Shows trust'

After the results came in, Mr Mackinlay said: "Despite the best efforts of various organisations to break my legs for this election just a few days ago, we did it here in South Thanet.

"The big thanks are to the voters of Thanet for continuing to put their trust in me."

He added: "I've done my best to serve for the past two years, the best I possibly can as their champion in Westminster, and I am so proud to have been returned with an even bigger majority tonight."

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Media captionCraig Mackinlay holds South Thanet for the Conservatives

On 2 June, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had charged Mr Mackinlay with offences under the Representation of the People Act.

Mr Mackinlay had criticised the CPS for charging him shortly before the election, saying the decision was "bizarre" and "very unfair".

He held the seat ahead of Labour's Raushan Ara, who came second with 18,875 votes.

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