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Conservative MPs set up ‘holiday fund’ for convicted Tory agent

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Conservative MPs have set up a “holiday fund” for a Tory agent recently convicted in relation to election expenses fraud, Sky News can reveal.

Marion Little, who was involved with the 2015 campaign for Conservative MP for South Thanet Craig Mackinlay, was handed a fine and a suspended sentence last week.

Sky News has obtained an email sent to Conservative MPs explaining how they can donate to a fund to provide Ms Little with a “substantial present so that she and her husband can go on a short holiday”.

The email, sent by the treasurer of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, says a “number of colleagues have already donated £20”.

EALING, ENGLAND - MAY 21: A supporter's Conservative rosette on May 21, 2014 in Ealing, England. The rally comes in the final day of campaigning before polls open for the European Parliament election tomorrow. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)
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Some Conservative MPs were said to have already donated £20

It adds: “Marion has helped the party enormously over the years and has gone through very considerable stress over the last few months only doing what she thought was right for the party”.

Ms Little was found guilty last week of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence and fined £5,000.

Sentencing, the judge said she had “deliberately” exceeded the spending limit and then created “dishonest documents to hide what she had done”.

Labour MP Rupa Huq MP said: “The Tories setting up a fund to reward their official who was convicted of serious electoral offences shows the disregard they have for playing by the rules.

“They still have many questions to answer about how this happened and what steps they’re taking to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but I have no faith that this will be forthcoming.”

Sky News has contacted Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Sir Patrick McLoughlin and the Conservative Party for comment but has not received any replies.

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