Former Tory MP David Mackintosh failed to declare source of political donations, court told | Politics News

A former Tory MP failed to declare where he received £39,000 in political donations from, a crown court jury has heard.

David Mackintosh, who represented Northampton South between 2015 and 2017, is alleged to have accepted three donations of £10,000 and six of £1,500 that were made in an allegedly “underhand way”, Warwick Crown Court was told on Tuesday.

Mr Mackintosh, the former lead of Northampton Borough Council, is standing trial alongside property developer Howard Grossman, who is accused of using third parties to conceal the source of the nine separate donations to the Northampton South Conservative Association.

Mr Mackintosh and Mr Grossman both deny two counts of failing to ensure details were provided in relation to political donations during 2014.

Prosecutor William Boyce KC said the donations had been made through other people without properly declaring they were from Mr Grossman.

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The prosecutor said Mr Grossman “donated £39,000 to Mr Mackintosh’s fighting fund not in his own name… pretending in essence that they [other people] were the donors”.

He alleged Mr Grossman did not want it to be known that he was the source of the funds.

“They were close friends and they worked together,” Mr Boyce said. “The case against Mr Mackintosh is that he received those donations knowing that Mr Grossman was doing it in that underhand way.”

Mr Boyce said Mr Grossman had become friends with Mackintosh after they both worked on a project to develop Northampton Town football club’s Sixfields Stadium, which was funded by council loans.

“On Mr Mackintosh’s case, Mr Grossman’s generosity must have extended to helping him… without telling his friend what he was doing,” Mr Boyce said.

“This case is not about why he [Grossman] wished to donate money – it’s about the methodology he employed in doing so. The prosecution do not have to prove why he did it.”

Mr Boyce said Mr Grossman and Mr Mackintosh met for the first time in 2012 after the former began discussions with the owners of Northampton Town about redeveloping Sixfields Stadium.

The court was told that a year later, the borough council resolved to lend the football club up to £12m.

Mr Boyce said Mr Grossman then became involved in a fundraiser for Mr Mackintosh at London’s Carlton Club in November 2014 – which charged guests £295 each – showcasing their close relationship.

The court was told that when Mr Mackintosh was interviewed by the police in March 2018 he answered “no comment” to the questions asked of him, but said in a statement that two other councillors had also benefitted from funds donated to the local Conservatives.

Mr Grossman also provided investigators with a prepared statement, saying he was “genuinely impressed” by Mr Mackintosh and wished to support him, having first met him in June 2013.

The trial continues.

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