published a report which on the face of it raises questions about the financial management of a charity which is run by the Conservative candidate for our area at the General Election.
The article alleges that an independent examiner has found £15,952 of unaccounted for expenses in the charity's accounts, and that the Charities Commission is considering a formal investigation into the money which was made in payments "without any supporting records."
Shaun Bailey, explaining the missing money, puts it down to simple mistakes. He says: "We had a little panic, we have the stuff . What you are dealing with is a kid from the estate who had a good idea to do this and and never had a wider view of accountants and lawyers. We have raised this money, spent it on the kids. We just didn't know."
It's not clear what 'stuff' he is talking about but I assume the 'kid from the estate' he refers to is himself, and we've all made mistakes in our lives. But as some of you have already pointed out this is the same Shaun Bailey who has spent the last couple of months using his very well funded campaign to attack Labour candidate Andy Slaughter for spending £90 on a pen nib and billing the tax-payer.
Speaking to me earlier today Shaun said this: "MyGeneration is a small charity that has experienced rapid growth. At the time we had a full time staff of only two people responsible for all of the charity's projects and administration. Like many small charitiesand voluntary organisations, it took us some time to develop the administrative processes".
"It is only my political opponents who have tried to bring the charitable work done by MyGeneration into dispute. This is the second time Labour have tried to smear me by attacking the charity with no regard for the work it does with the hundreds of youth and families it supports in West London."
I haven't actually seen Labour talk about this at all but people in the Bailey campaign clearly think they're behind the media stories.
I take it at face value that the £16,000 was an administrative cock-up, these things happen all the time. But isn't that what many of the MPs with dodgy expenses claimed at the time? And isn't attacking Andy Slaughter for expenses when the worst thing they could dredge up was a £90 pen nib he apparently charged to the public once just a little bit, well, risky in that case?!
Just a prediction but I doubt we'll see much more comment on anyone's expenses from the Conservative campaign from this point on.