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Watchdog probes Labour over missing receipts for 'Ed Stone'

Published 22/01/2016

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband unveiling his party's pledges carved into a stone plinth known as the
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband unveiling his party's pledges carved into a stone plinth known as the "Ed Stone"

Labour is being investigated by the elections watchdog over its failure to submit receipts for the so-called Ed Stone.

Invoices for the campaign stunt, which sparked widespread ridicule, totalling £7,830 have now been submitted by the party.

But the Electoral Commission, which released the documents, said it will be "investigating Labour over what happened".

Ed Miliband's manifesto commitments were carved on the 8ft stone in an attempt by the party to show it was serious about meeting its pledges.

The move backfired, however, when it was widely derided on social media and mocked by political opponents.

Basingstoke firm stoneCIRCLE supplied and carved the stone and its total bill came to £5,400. London company PAYE Stone Restoration charged £2,430 for putting it in place, transporting it and storing it for the 12 weeks up to July 28 last year.

The receipts were the most eagerly anticipated item of election spending when the Electoral Commission released its records earlier this week, but it soon emerged that they had not been included in the thousands of pages of invoices.

Labour blamed an "administrative error" for its failure to include the items with the rest of its campaign spend.

It faces a fine of up to £20,000 if it is found to have seriously breached the rules.

An Electoral Commission spokesman said it was considering the issue "in line with our enforcement policy".

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