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Independent candidate was whistleblower

From David Thompson

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Have the Calder Valley Conservatives selected Craig Whittaker to stand again this time, even after the recent police investigation into financial irregularities concerning election expenses?

I'm afraid I've given up on the local press because they are so poor, so if everybody is aware of this, I offer my apologies.

I received a leaflet from Rob Holden who is standing as an independent after being expelled from the Calder Valley Conservative association for whistleblowing. 

Following an email enquiry, Mr Holden wrote, 

"The officers involved were Cllrs Benton and Blagbrough, both members of Mr Whittaker's staff and Executive officers of the Association,  Cllr Benton was also Mr Whittaker's election agent.  There were numerous fake invoices, these are also on the website and many of these were submitted as being records of election expenses in Mr Whittaker's election returns.  We have never established exactly why he would have submitted fake invoices but there are two possible reason why someone would do such a thing, one would be because the expenses limit had been exceeded and the fake invoices were generated to show a lower amount or the other reason would be to submit fake invoices and then draw cash against them further down the line.  I’m afraid only the individuals involved would be able to answer exactly what the reasons were in this case.

Mr Whittaker from the outset of the financial investigation has been uncooperative at best and even instigated a vote of no confidence in the then Chairman of the association when he’d requested that the accounts were to be computerised he then went to the extent of banning an area officer from his office, thus preventing her from questioning Cllr Blagbrough about a number of issues with the accounts.  All in all the whole situation was grubby at best and I have to say that severing ties with the organisation is probably the best thing I could have done."
Mr Holden supplied this URL where further details and documentary evidence can be seen.

David Thompson

From Graham Bark er

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Thanks for posting David, I for one had forgotten all that. Rob's now getting my vote.

From Chris Barnett

Saturday, 20 May 2017

I've never voted Conservative, and probably never will, but if I was that way inclined then I would probably have serious concerns about the candidate for that party. His lack of support and help for the people of Calderdale affected by the 2015 flooding, together with the allegations that have been made about the local party organisation don't make him a very attractive propostion, even for a committed Tory.

I don't know Rob Holden, but he seems like a decent person who has done a tremendous amount to help the people of Calderdale in recent years, and I suspect that a lot of people who would otherwise vote Conservative will give him their vote.

See also:

Rob Holden - Independent Candidate for the Calder Valley, in conversation with Jason Elliott (May 2017)

HebWeb General Election section

HebWeb News - Tories punish Cllr Rob Holden for whistleblowing (June 2016)

HebWeb News - Serious questions persist concerning Calder Valley Conservative Association (June 2016)