Kent MP Craig Mackinlay to stand trial next May…

    THE Parliamentary representative for South Thanet is due to stand trial next year after being accused of breaching campaign spending limits during the 2015 general election.

    Craig Mackinlay, 50, and two of his aides are alleged not to have properly reported expenses in his local return.

    The Conservative MP, who saw off a challenge from former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and a satirical candidacy from comedian Al Murray to win the seat two years ago, is being charged under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

    His election agent at the time, Nathan Gray, 28, and campaign specialist, Marion Little, 62, are also facing the same charge.

    All three appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday August 15 for the short hearing, where the trial date was set.

    It is alleged some expenses incurred during the hard-fought campaign in South Thanet were wrongly attributed to national expenditure instead of local expenditure.

    If they had been recorded correctly, they would have been in breach of spending limits, it is claimed.

    Mackinlay, who lives in Ramsgate, is charged with two counts of making false election expenses declarations. Gray, of Hawkhurst, is charged with one count of making a false election expenses declaration. Little, of Ware in Hertfordshire, is charged with all three counts.

    The trial is set for the May 14 and it is estimated it will last for six weeks.