"Losing a student is the worst thing that could happen to a school community and everyone is stunned."Craig was one of the very few students to be given an A grade for effort in every subject.The CPS’s announcement said Mr Mackinlay, 50, is accused of “falsely” declaring expenses in the run up to the 2015 vote, which saw him narrowly defeat Ukip’s Nigel Farage.But the Conservative said: “My candidature [in 2017] in South Thanet is entirely unaffected and my campaign continues as before.Mackinlay has been found guilty of nothing and remains an innocent man, and, presumably will remain as his party’s candidate.Even so, the most talented spin doctor would find it difficult to put some positive gloss on the following statement issued by the Crown Prosecution Service to Craig Mackinlay, which reads like the opening scene in an episode of : “That on 11 June 2015, being a candidate at the UK General Election on , you knowingly made the declaration accompanying the return for the regulated period from 19 December 2014 to 29 March 2015, delivered under Section 81(1) of the Representation of People Act 1983, required by Section 82(1) of the same Act, falsely, contrary to Section 82(6) of the same Act.” “That on 11 June 2015, being a candidate at the UK General Election on , you knowingly made the declaration accompanying the return for the regulated period from 30 March 2015 to , delivered under Section 81(1) of the Representation of People Act 1983, required by Section 82(1) of the same Act, falsely, contrary to Section 82(6) of the same Act.” Neither can this revelation have been welcome for a Conservative election campaign that is faltering badly.Politicians often get called a crook by their opponents, the press and their own electorate.Few, though, can have enjoyed the experience, or have had to suffer the embarrassment of having the Crown Prosecution Service commence proceedings against them in the middle of an election campaign.
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“I will not let this decision affect the hard work I do for my constituents and the hard work I hope to do for them after the 8th of June.” Allegations were made against a string of Tories after the election two years ago, relating to claims that incorrect expenses were filed for the party’s battle bus tour, but most had been dropped by the CPS up to now, with Mr Mackinlay’s the only one outstanding.
The candidate added: “Our justice system is underpinned by the presumption of innocence and I’m confident that I will be acquitted, as I have done nothing wrong and have acted honestly and properly whilst a candidate in 2015, and, as all candidates do, acted upon advice throughout.
"His GCSE results are due out on Aug 21 and we are expecting top grades in all subjects.
"It is a real tragedy and having recently lost a son of my own I feel so much for Craig's parents and his family.