New Conservative MP and owner of The Ecologist Zac Goldsmith went on Sky News last night to deny claims made by Channel 4 News that he had overspent on his election expenses.
Goldsmith declined to comment to Channel 4 himself, but instead went on Sky as the investigation was being broadcast.
He said: “Channel 4 has looked at a number of MPs, found exactly the same story with each one and decided that – given that my campaign was a high-profile campaign and I was a high-profile candidate, not always for the best reasons – they decided to focus on mine.
“I don’t mind if they want to look at the funding formula, if they want to look at the rules. That’s entirely their prerogative. I’m sure they could do with being looked at.
“But what they have done tonight, according to the website press release I have seen, is entirely dishonest and totally misleading and, in my view, profoundly unethical.”
Channel 4 reported last night that he had significantly overspent on the £11,003 election expenses limit in his Richmond Park constituency by not declaring all the costs for leaflets, signs and a batch of jackets bearing the slogan “I back Zac”.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: “We refute any suggestion that Zac Goldsmith was targeted simply because he is a high-profile figure.
“The questions we have raised relating to his expenses are entirely legitimate. The issues we found regarding Mr Goldsmith’s campaign expenses are materially different and of a different scale to those found in other returns we looked at.”
Press Gazette understand that Goldsmith was given the opportunity to respond to the detail of allegations raised by C4 News last Friday, but that he opted not do so.