Mansfield mayor declines to answer questions over fraud probe

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Mansfield mayor Kate Allsop has said she is aware of the investigation into ‘financial irregularities’ surrounding her election campaign, but says she won’t answer questions until the issue is resolved.

The Chad revealed exclusively today that police had been looking into the amount of cash spent on her campaign, amid allegations that she had overspent.

Candidates can spend a maximum of £6969.72, with Mrs Allsop saying her expenditure came in well below that figure.

Despite numerous attempts by the Chad to contact the mayor, earlier today she gave a statement to radio station Mansfield 103.2, but declined to be interviewed over the claims.

She said: “I’m aware of an investigation and once that has been concluded, if there any questions put to me I will answer them at that point.

“I will say that I am not surprised that someone has asked for an investigation since in the past losing mayoral candidates have done so, and presumably it is one of the losing candidates in May that has been the driving force behind this story.”

But in response, Phil Shields, who stood against Mrs Allsop during the mayoral election in May said: “Why are they so bothered about who informed the police than answering the allegations?”

Both Mr Shields and Labour candidate Martin Lee, who finished runner-up in the race to be mayor, say that her Mrs Allsop and the man who helped fund her campaign, Councillor Stewart Rickersey, should step down from Mansfield District Council until the matter is resolved.