Ex-Tory MP Mark Menzies Suspended Amid Allegations of Misusing Political Donations

Former Tory MP Mark Menzies under investigation for allegedly misusing political donations, raising concerns about transparency and accountability in UK politics.

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Hadeel Hashem
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Ex-Tory MP Mark Menzies Suspended Amid Allegations of Misusing Political Donations

Ex-Tory MP Mark Menzies Suspended Amid Allegations of Misusing Political Donations

Mark Menzies, the former Conservative MP for Fylde, has been suspended and is under investigation by Lancashire police for allegedly misusing political donations.

According to a whistleblower, the Conservative Party was advised by lawyers that Menzies' actions may have constituted fraud, but the party was not obligated to report it.

The allegations include Menzies using political donations to cover medical expenses and pay off 'bad people' who had locked him in a flat and demanded thousands of pounds. Menzies allegedly transferred £14,000 given by donors for Tory campaign activities to his personal bank accounts.

He is also accused of making a late-night call to a 78-year-old aide asking for £5,000 to be released from being 'locked up' by 'bad people', which was eventually paid by his office manager.

The Conservative Party has confirmed it is investigating the allegations, which were reportedly known since January, and Menzies has agreed to have the whip withdrawn, meaning he will now sit as an independent MP. Menzies disputes the allegations and said he has fully complied with all the rules for declarations.

Why this matters: The allegations against Menzies raise serious questions about the misuse of political donations and the Conservative Party's handling of the matter. The case highlights the need for transparency and accountability in political fundraising and spending.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have called for an investigation into the handling of the case by the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party. Labour Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds has written to Lancashire Police calling for an investigation into the allegations. "The Conservative Party has been aware of the claims against Menzies for more than three months but has resisted pressure to make a referral," Dodds indicated.

Lancashire Police has confirmed that it has received a letter detailing concerns about the matter and is reviewing the available information. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has declined to say whether Menzies should quit as Fylde MP, stating that the investigation into the allegations is ongoing. Menzies has lost the Conservative whip and been suspended from his position as a trade envoy while the investigations continue.

Key Takeaways

  • Former Tory MP Mark Menzies under police investigation for misusing political donations.
  • Allegations include using donations for personal expenses and paying off 'bad people'.
  • Conservative Party aware of claims since January but did not report them.
  • Labour and Lib Dems call for investigation into Tory handling of the case.
  • Menzies suspended from Tory party, investigation ongoing, PM declines to comment.