Police act on alleged criminality by Liberal Democrat MSP in spending row
UP AND COMING Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal over allegation’s his campaign in Edinburgh Western in 2016 broke electoral spending laws.
The decision for the police to submit a formal report following months of investigations into allegations of improper reporting of expenditure by the LibDems in the run-up to the vote in May of last year.
Broken in an exclusive by The Herald, confirmation of the report against the Liberal campaign chief has led to calls from political opponents for his suspension from the party.
The dispute - stemming from a bitter election contest with the SNP - focused on how Cole-Hamilton’s campaign split its spending declarations and a claims that office rental costs amounted to just £83.45. Cole-Hamilton was also standing on the regional list vote in Lothians
After declaring £32,549 on the campaign, just below the legal limit, Cole-Hamilton won the seat ahead of the SNP’s Toni Giugliano (also pictured above) by under 3,000 votes. He denies any wrong-doing.
With the police decision to progress a report on the matter to legal authorities, the SNP stated that the LibDems should “immediately remove Alex Cole-Hamilton as the party's general election director” and suspend him from the party while investigations are ongoing.
Cole-Hamilton has been touted by many of the so-called big-hitters in the UK party, such as Paddy Ashdown, as a future possible leader of the LibDems.
The Liberal Democrats have expressed “full confidence” in Cole-Hamilton.
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