The Sarah Teather file


Lib Dem Sarah Teather is one of five MPs under scrutiny over election campaign costs following a joint investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Channel 4 News.

Sarah Teather speaking at Lib Dem Spring conference, Liverpool 2008-Alex Folkes/flickr
Sarah Teather speaking at Lib Dem Spring conference, Liverpool 2008-Alex Folkes/flickr

Sarah Teather has been a Lib Dem MP for nearly seven years. The 36-year-old Cambridge graduate was the youngest member of parliament when she won the London seat of Brent East in a by-election.

Ms Teather took the new Brent Central seat by 1,345 votes in May.

Our investigation found the London MP was only £70 under her £10,800 spending limit.

One receipt showed a spend for postage of nearly £11,000. Ms Teather’s return said a quarter of this is for her campaign – suggesting a total of around £2,750. But the actual figure she had declared was inexplicably lower – removing £800 from her campaign spend.

It’s not the only discrepancy we found. The return suggested she could be almost a thousand pounds over her legal limit.

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In response, Ms Teather’s agent told Channel 4 News that the discrepancies were due to inaccurate wording in relation to how invoices were split.

He said they accepted the wording on the returns “could and should have been clearer” but insisted the financial totals were “fully accurate”.

“All election expenditure was within the guidelines of the Electoral Commission and I have provided the commission with the paper work in order to confirm this,” he told Channel 4 News.

“We very much welcome scrutiny around this complex area of election law,” he said.

Sarah Teather election expenses – Short campaign by alexplough

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