Northampton Town loan: MP David Mackintosh faces deselection fight

By Matt Precey & Julian Sturdy
BBC Look East

Image source, Art Conaghan
Image caption,
When contacted by the BBC, a majority of David Mackintosh's local executive council said they would vote to deselect him

A Conservative MP faces a deselection fight over his role in a loan in which millions of pounds of public money appears to have vanished.

Northampton South MP David Mackintosh also faces questions over hidden campaign donations.

When contacted by the BBC, a majority of his party's local executive council said they would vote to deselect him.

Responding to the BBC, Mr Mackintosh said: "I intend to stand for re-election."

Mr Mackintosh was criticised over the loan to Northampton Town Football Club from the borough council - when he was leader - to rebuild Sixfields stadium and develop nearby land.

Some £10.25m of that money is now missing and the loan is subject to a police investigation into "alleged financial irregularities".

The football stand remains half built.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Work is yet to be finished at the Sixfields Stadium

A BBC investigation also found that Mr Mackintosh benefited from £30,000 in "hidden" donations to his general election fighting fund from individuals with links to the company into which most of the loan money disappeared.

Mr Mackintosh has previously told the BBC he welcomes the investigation and "will co-operate fully with police".

"I had no reason to believe that the donations were from anyone other than the named donors," he said.

An emergency meeting of Northampton South Conservatives will take place on 2 May to decide which candidate will be adopted.

Under party rules, if the sitting member does not gain the support of the executive council then a secret ballot is held among the membership present.

There are approximately 160 members of the Northampton South Conservative Association.

The BBC has also obtained a previous internal Conservative Party assessment stating Mr Mackintosh was unsuitable to be an MP.

The document, written in 2013, was compiled by a regional party official as the local association considered candidates to succeed the then sitting MP Brian Binley.

It stated Mr Mackintosh "was not of the calibre to be an MP".

Mr Mackintosh was subsequently selected to participate in an open primary in December 2013, which was held at Sixfields Stadium, before going on to win the seat at the 2015 General Election.

He was elected to Parliament with a majority of 3,793.