The Phil Woolas file


Former Labour minister Phil Woolas is one of five MPs under scrutiny over election campaign costs following a joint investigation by and Channel 4 News.

Phil Woolas is Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth. Under Gordon Brown he was minister for borders and immigration and Treasury minister.

He is currently shadow immigration minister but is perhaps most famous for his clash with actress Joanna Lumley over UK settlement rights for Gurkhas last year.

The TBIJ and Channel 4 News investigation found that during his campaign, Mr Woolas had ordered but did not use 23,000 leaflets. This reduced his spending by £900.

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Election funding experts told Channel 4 News that though charging only for items used was entirely legal, it caused accountability problems because it is “virtually impossible” to verify which items were actually used.

In a statement Phil Woolas said: “I have applied the law as it is, the law is quite clear, you declare what you use and not what you order.”

Phil Woolas election expenses – Short campaign by alexplough

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