Cumbria Police given 'improper' election spending probe extension

Conservative battle bus Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Conservatives said the Battlebus tour was part of a national campaign

Cumbria Police is to investigate claims of improper electoral campaign spending after receiving an official allegation.

The force said it has been granted a 12-month extension to investigate the claims.

The Conservatives blamed an "administrative error" for not declaring £38,000 of general election expenses for their Battlebus 2015 tour.

It follows a Channel 4 investigation into spending in a number of constituencies, including Carlisle.

The force said it was liaising closely with the National Police Chiefs Council and the Electoral Commission.

It is the seventeenth force to investigate whether some MPs' agents should have filed costs associated with battle bus visits to their constituencies in their local expenses.

The activists on the bus targeted marginal seats.

However, the Tories said they had been campaigning "across the country for the return of a Conservative government" and, as a result, associated costs were regarded as national not local expenditure.

Wiltshire Police is also investigating Liberal Democrat expenses.

The extension had to be secured before a year elapsed following the filing of the election expenses.

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