SIR Christopher Chope spent thousands more than any other local candidate in last year’s General Election – nearly twice the second-highest, figures have revealed.
The veteran Tory splashed out £1,583 on hotel stays, £360 on his agent and staff, and £300 on personal expenses. In total he spent £10,628, although £10,185 of that came through donations, and comfortably retained the Christchurch constituency seat with 65% of the vote.
Sir Christopher’s re-election bid bill was far higher than any other candidates across the New Forest West, East and Christchurch constituencies.
Somewhat surprisingly, Green candidate Nick Bubb (£5,964) spent the most getting his message across in New Forest West, and it helped him win fourth place behind Labour’s Jo Graham, Liberal Democrat Jack Davies (who spent £3,371) and Tory Sir Desmond Swayne.
The latter comfortably retained his seat with a 63.8% share of the vote, having spent £3,007 – which included £949 on his election agent and staff, £447 on hotel bills and £111 on transport expenses. He did not accept any donations, the figures revealed.
In New Forest East, where sitting incumbent Dr Julian Lewis easily retained his seat, the winner spent £4,560, including £317 on agent and staff, £147 on personal expenses and £100 on hotels.
The biggest advertiser in that constituency was Liberal Democrat Bob Johnston, who took out £165 worth of ads. He also attracted the highest donation figure (£1,980).
All the figures can be found at www.electoralcommission.org.uk