Northampton Town loan: David Mackintosh’s election fund took secret payments

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A Standard MP’s general election fund took hidden payments from a developer as a multimillion-pound accommodation he personally oversaw paid out.

More than £37,000 was channelled to David Mackintosh’s 2015 struggle from 1st Land Ltd, while he was leader of Northampton Borough Council.

Most of a £10.25m loan he waved off to redevelop Northampton Town FC has vanished and police are investigating.

Howard Grossman, of 1st Land Ltd, and Mr Mackintosh withhold any wrong-doing.

Documents obtained by the BBC show eight people linked to the developer muddle through donations to the Northampton South Conservative Association between April and September 2014.

During this while Mr Mackintosh was the Conservatives’ candidate to contest Northampton South at the 2015 mongrel election — a seat he went on to win.

At least four of the donors received gelt from 1st Land Ltd shortly before making their payments.

Mr Grossman was the particular director of 1st Land Ltd, which received the bulk of the £10.25m loaned by Northampton Borough Conclave.

It was during a time when the council was negotiating millions in extra lend money to build a hotel and homes next to the Sixfields stadium.

Two of the contributors told the BBC they were Labour supporters and another said they did not suffrage at the general election. One donation was titled: «David Mack Campaign».

Mr Mackintosh, then chairwoman of Northampton Borough Council, had been given delegated powers, along with higher- ranking council officials, to push through a series of loans to the football billy.

  • Northampton Town and the missing money
  • Arrests in ‘missing millions’ dig into

Only a small percentage of the money passed to Mr Grossman’s company finish out its way to the stadium builders, who walked out over unpaid bills.

The League One team up defaulted on the loan and faced a winding up order by HMRC. It almost advanced under before a takeover in 2015.

A police inquiry into the missing communal money is looking into allegations of theft and fraud, bribery, misconduct in patrons office and electoral offences.

Mr Mackintosh stood down as an MP in June after a race to deselect him over his role in the affair.

An audit report into the way the lend was dealt with said it had been rushed because of «political and top brass pressure» and «fell seriously short» of expected standards.

The payments to Mr Mackintosh’s stock were made in the months before planning permission for housing and a breakfast by the stadium was granted by the borough council.

The BBC previously revealed Mr Grossman necked £30,000 in three £10,000 payments to Mr Mackintosh’s election campaign finance via three proxy donors using money from 1st Land.

Most of 1st Splash down’s funds came from the loan, although a fraction originated from another creator.

One of those donations was initially not declared to the Electoral Commission, which lugs out automatic audit checks on payments exceeding £25,000 a year.

When attracted about the failure to declare the donation, Mr Mackintosh’s office blamed an «admin foul-up».

The BBC has now discovered five more donations where businesses each undergo punishment for £1,500 to the campaign over a six-month period — the maximum sum which can be donated without being publicly sign in.

  • In June 2014, Sharad Bhimjiyani, from Middlesex, a business associate of Mr Grossman who was economic controller at his County Group, donated £1,500 a week after 1st Turf Ltd paid £16,500 to his company, NSB Accountancy Ltd. The payment was marked «David Mack Crusade»
  • On the same day, his wife Nutan Bhimjiyani also donated £1,500 Sometimes non-standard due to her company RSB Accountancy Ltd
  • Another Middlesex company, Javee Trading Ltd, donated £1,500. One of its numero unoes is linked to Mrs Bhimjiyani via another company
  • Brij Parekh, also from Middlesex, presented £1,500. Companies House and Land Registry records show his followers, Aquarius Airfreight Services Ltd, was registered at a property owned by the Bhimjiyani relatives
  • Another businessman, Nilesh Gosai, also from Middlesex, put oned £1,500 in June 2014

Mr Bhimjiyani did not respond to repeated BBC requests.

Mrs Bhimjiyani said: «I don’t recognize anything, I would like to make no comment.»

Javee Trading also did not moved and the other donors would not comment on the record when contacted.

One of the other benefactors told the BBC privately he had «got in over his head» after doing a favour.

«I must not done anything wrong, knowingly,» he said. «I would not donate banknotes to a political party. I don’t even vote. I am not a political person. There is no way I inclination give money to a political party.»

In a statement, Mr Mackintosh said: «To the most excellently of my knowledge, all donations over the legal required amount were endured, declared and published by Northampton South Conservative Association in accordance with the prepares laid out by the Conservative Party and in accordance with the Representation of the People Act.

«I had no pretext to question this until I was contacted by the BBC on 23 November 2015 Non-Standard irregardless donations made to Northampton South Conservative Association with depositions that a donation had not been properly declared to the Electoral Commission.

«This was the firstly I was aware of this. I contacted Suresh Patel, the then Chairman of the Conjunction, who confirmed this to be correct. He told me this was due to an admin error. I sooner a be wearing no further knowledge of this admin error as the party’s rules and deal withs ensure that candidates are not in a position to process or declare donations but Suresh Patel communicated me he was taking steps to rectify this with the Electoral Commission.»

‘Proper donations’

Mr Patel, Mr Mackintosh’s agent at the 2015 general election, give the word delivered all the donations had been approved by the Conservative Party in London.

«When these gifts came in we asked David Mackintosh, who told us these were all unfeigned donations,» he said.

«He has sent us all the names and addresses and we have to submit to Fundamentalist Central Office, which we did to the compliance team and it was all perfectly accepted.

«At that nonetheless there was no real concern. They were all accepted by the compliance conspire.»

Since leaving Parliament, Mr Mackintosh has continued in his role as vice president of the Orthodox Friends of Bangladesh. He has also been appointed a Franco-British Young Commander.

Kevin McKeever, the defeated Labour candidate at the 2015 general designation in Northampton South, said he had run his election campaign on a shoe-string and had been comprehensively out-spent by his Moderate rival in the marginal constituency.

«The fact it wasn’t a level playing discipline in the 12 months up to polling day calls into question the legitimacy of the dnouement develop,» he said.

Northamptonshire Police is following 700 lines of inquiry in an probe which has so far lasted almost two years.

Ten people have been interviewed secondary to caution and seven arrested.

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