United Kingdom electoral body says investigating Labour-backing campaign group Momentum

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The Jeremy Corbyn-supporting group Momentum, an integral part of Labour's surprisingly successful reemergence in the last election, is being investigated by the Electoral Commission over potentially excessive spending during June's election.

The democracy watchdog said its probe would look into whether the group's spending breached the limits for non-party campaigners in national elections.

'There is significant public interest in us investigating Momentum to establish the facts in this matter and whether there have been any offences.

Whether or not the organisation accurately recorded donations and payments relating to the 2017 campaign is also being examined.

It now stands at £39,000, comprising £31,980 in England, £3,540 in Scotland, £2,400 in Wales and £1,080 in Northern Ireland. Its campaigners played a key role in the June election, mobilising voters in key seats as well as amplifying Labour's message on social media.

The group has become notorious for trying to unseat Labour MPs who disagree with Mr Corbyn, and has recently asked the party's candidates to sign a pledge of loyalty to Momentum's aims in return for election funding.

Whether Momentum submitted a return that "did not include accurate donation information".

Whether Momentum "submitted a return that did not include all invoices for payments of more than £200".

In a statement on Thursday, the commission said it was possible contraventions or offences of a different nature could be found during the investigation.

Registered non-party campaigners are only entitled to spend above these limits if they have the authorisation of the political party that they are promoting, when they are able to spend up to the limit authorised by the party.

Momentum reported total spending of £38,742.54 to the Commission, which is £257.46 below the limit.

'Momentum put a lot of effort and resources into detailed budgeting and financial procedures during the election to ensure full compliance.

What is the electoral watchdog investigating?

Bob Posner, the Electoral Commission's Director of Political Finance and Regulation and Legal Counsel, said the investigation would discover whether the rules or law were broken before deciding appropriate action.



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