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Saturday 28th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

YORKSHIRE Conservative Party Association officers have been “removed” by Tory central office after police announced an investigation into alleged financial irregularities.

West Yorkshire Police confirmed yesterday they had launched a criminal investigation into the finances of Calder Valley Conservative Association.

West Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “Police in Calderdale have been made aware of an allegation of financial irregularity.

“A criminal investigation has now been launched to examine this allegation and is in its early stages.”

A Conservative central office spokesman confirmed the officers of the association have been removed but said it would be inappropriate to comment further while there is a police investigation ongoing.

Calder Valley Conservative Association chairman Charles Moran tendered his resignation on Thursday night and is “co-operating with the police investigation.”

He said in his resignation email that he was stepping down after a “breakdown in relations” with Tory MP Craig Whittaker and two officers of the association.

“All I can say right now is that West Yorkshire Police have mine and the association’s full cooperation,” he wrote.

Calder Valley MP Mr Whittaker. Mr Whittaker’s office refused to comment about the police investigation when contacted by the Morning Star yesterday.

Calderdale councillors however have raised concerns about the situation.

Liberal Democrat councillor James Baker said: “We are calling on Craig Whittaker MP to explain to the people who elected him what has gone on here.

“People deserve transparency and openness from their politicians. We have also called on Calderdale Council to investigate this matter.”

The metropolitan district of Calderdale is based in the former textile town of Halifax.

It has two parliamentary constituencies, Halifax and the Calder Valley.

Halifax is held by Labour.

In an unconnected incident on Boxing Day 2012 Mr Whittaker was arrested over an alleged assault at a petrol station in his constituency.

No charges were pressed by the Crown Prosecution Service. The alleged victim, his son, later emigrated to Australia. He said he had been planning to emigrate before the alleged incident.