March 2, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea's MP defends election spending after Mirror article

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has defended his election spending despite the Daily Mirror naming him in an investigation into how 24 Tory MPs reportedly failed to declare thousands of pounds spent on their election campaigns in marginal seats.

The newspaper says James Heappey had an election spening limit of £16,092.51 and declared £14,575.64, but it claims he did not declare the visit of the Conservatives battle bus, hotels or food and therefore had an estimated overspend of £633.13.

The Mirror says some of the MPs could have breached strict spending limits.

But Mr Heappey told The Mirror: "My election expense return for the 2015 election was completed and returned by my election agent in accordance with the law."

"It included all items authorised by my election agent for use in my campaign. I signed the necessary declaration on that basis."

"I am aware that Conservative Campaign Headquarters campaigned across the UK for the return of a Conservative Government, including in seats such as mine. Such campaigning would be part of the national return not within our local return."

A Conservative spokesman confirmed: "MPs election expense returns for the 2015 election were completed and returned by election agents in accordance with the law. Conservative Campaign Headquarters campaigned across the country for the return of a Conservative Government. Such campaigning would be part of the national return, not local return."

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