LONDON – British prosecutors on Friday charged a former Conservative lawmaker and two party workers over alleged breaches of campaign-spending rules during the 2015 election.
Prosecutors have been investigating claims that the Conservatives disguised local expenses as national ones in several close-fought constituencies.
Crown Prosecution Service official Nick Vamos there is sufficient evidence to charge Craig Mackinlay, who is currently running for re-election to Parliament. Party staffers Nathan Gray and Marion Little have also been charged with offenses under the Representation of the People Act.
Last month, prosecutors said they had ruled out charging anyone else, after considering files from 14 police forces.
The allegations have cast a shadow over the Conservatives' re-election campaign ahead of Britain's June 8 election.
The Conservative Party said in a statement that the allegation was unfounded, and "we are confident that this will be proven as the matter progresses."
Mackinlay defeated then-U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage in the southern England seat of South Thanet in 2015, and is running for re-election on June 8.
Farage, who has since stepped down as UKIP leader, said allowing Mackinley to run for election when he had allegations hanging over him showed "bad judgment" by Prime Minister Theresa May.