Labour 17 points behind as Tories told they will not face charges over election expenses

The Tories’ opinion poll lead has reached 17 points after both the government and Labour inched up.

The Panelbase survey, published this morning, put Theresa May’s party on 48 per cent and Labour on 31 per cent, each up one point.

It comes as prosecutors confirmed no charges would be brought against the Tories over the “battle bus” election expenses from the last general election.

Today a series of Tory MPs and candidates were told they were not face charges over errors in spending over the high profile bus tour two years ago and three other by-elections.

“We have considered files from 14 police forces in respect of allegations relating to Conservative Party candidates’ expenditure during the 2015 general election campaign,” said Nick Vamos, the CPS’ head of special crime.

“We considered whether candidates and election agents working in constituencies that were visited by the party’s “battle bus” may have committed a criminal offence by not declaring related expenditure on local returns. Instead, as the Electoral Commission found in its report, these costs were recorded as national expenditure by the party.

“We reviewed the files in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors and have concluded the tests in the code are not met and no criminal charges have been authorised”.

One file, received from Kent Police, is still being considered.

The full Panelbase results, with comparisons against its previous survey, are as follows:

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