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Tory MP Mark Menzies Accused of Misusing Thousands in Donor Funds To Pay Off ‘Bad People’

26 DE FEBRERO DE 2020 Entrevista a Mark Menzies, enviado comercial del Reino Unido, sobre la continuidad de la relación comercial entre Perú y el Reino Unido y las nuevas posibilidades comerciales que se abren en este nuevo contexto post Brexit FOTO: ROLLY REYNA/ EL COMERCIO PERU (GDA via AP Images)

Tory MP Mark Menzies was stripped of his parliamentary privileges Thursday following allegations of misusing campaign funds for personal emergencies and to pay off “bad people.” The embattled MP, 52, denies the accusations reported by the Times on Wednesday evening,

Menzies

Mark Menzies was stripped of his parliamentary privileges Thursday. (PHOTO: ROLLY REYNA/ EL COMERCIO PERU (GDA via AP Images))

Tory MP Mark Menzies was stripped of his parliamentary privileges Thursday following allegations of misusing campaign funds for personal emergencies and to pay off “bad people.”

The embattled MP, 52, denies the accusations reported by the Times on Wednesday evening, and insists he adhered to all necessary funding rules.

The Times reported that in December, Menzies allegedly found himself “locked in a flat by some bad people.” Desperate, he called his then-campaign manager at 3.15 AM, pleading for £5,000 from the campaign donations account. When the manager explained she couldn’t do that without leaving the house Menzies reportedly became angry, describing the matter as one of “life and death.”

When the woman refused, it was long-time constituency office manager Shirley Green who allegedly paid Menzies out of her personal savings—a sum later reimbursed from campaign donations.

When collected from the flat by an office junior, the Times said the staffer was also made to hand over several hundred pounds from their personal account, which Menzies said was owed to other men.

The next day Menzies reportedly asked for a further £35,000 for medical bills but was told there was no more money in the campaign account.

Sources told the Times that Menzies had met a man while dating online, drinking to the point of having been sick at which point the other men demanded money for cleaning up.

Despite alleged efforts to keep the situation under wraps, the Times’ source said the former campaign manager reported what had happened to Tory chief whip Simon Hart.

The Times also reported that four years prior, Menzies dialled up the same campaign manager to cover £3,000 in medical bills with campaign funds, promising to repay it. Yet, a further £14,000 of donor money would eventually flow into Menzies’s personal accounts for private medical expenses over the years.

In a statement issued to the Times, Menzies said: “I strongly dispute the allegations put to me. I have fully complied with all the rules for declarations. As there is an investigation ongoing I will not be commenting further.”

Despite his suspension, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have lambasted the Conservative party’s sluggish response to the allegations, stressing the potential threat to national security due to MPs’ vulnerability to manipulation.

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