Cash for honours sleaze row: Police rule out criminal probe over ‘insufficient' evidence

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    SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil said the Metropolitan Police had written to inform him that there was “insufficient information” to proceed. It relates to the ongoing scandal surrounding Conservative donors being given peerages in return for party donations.

    Quoting from the letter, he said: “The Metropolitan Police have considered the material available under the relevant legislation and I am now writing to inform you there is insufficient information under which to launch a criminal investigation.

    “In coming to this decision, we have considered the legislation raised in your letter, namely the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925, and also considered other potential relevant offences.”

    It emerged after the Met confirmed earlier this week that it was “considering” calls for a probe.

    This came after it was revealed that nine of the Tories’ former treasurers have been elevated to the House of Lords since the party returned to power in 2010.

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    Reacting to the news, Mr Wishart said: “If it is not illegal to hand out peerages in return for millions of pounds in donations then it should be illegal – and it is absolute proof that Westminster is institutionally corrupt.

    “The fact that Boris Johnson, and his predecessors, have handed peerages to dozens of millionaire Tory Party donors absolutely stinks and it is an appalling abuse of the system.

    “The independence of the police is paramount and we respect their decision, which is based on the evidence that is immediately available and the law as it stands.

    “However, the fact that the Tories could get away with the shameful practice of dishing out peerages to their wealthy donors proves that the Westminster system is broken beyond repair and will never be fixed.”

    The Met said: “Specialist detectives have considered the contents of correspondence received by the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) relating to recent media reports concerning the awarding of peerages.

    “Taking into account both the information provided in the correspondence and other available information alongside the relevant legislation, officers have concluded that there are not sufficient grounds to initiate an investigation.

    “Should further information regarding these matters be provided to the MPS it will of course be considered.”

    Speaking earlier today, the Prime Minister added: “I do not in any way underestimate the vital importance of the transparency of MPs working number one for their constituents and not engaging in paid advocacy.”

    Express.co.uk has contacted the Conservative Party for comment.



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