On January 30 2015, during the “long campaign” for election in the General Election, meaning expenses must be declared, Amber Rudd arranged for a high speed Javelin Train to visit Hastings. On the seats of the train were her election brochures.
Ms Rudd did not declare any expenses for this. Javelin trains usually run between Ramsgate and London St Pancras, they do not come to Hastings. Even if Rudd or the Conservative Party didn’t pay money to the train operators, any benefit in kind must be declared. No such expense was declared.amber-rudd
I have tried, without success to find out who organised and/or paid for the publicity stunt. I made a Freedom of Information Act request to Network Rail, the operators of the rail network. Their response was tortuous to say the least, but did not ultimately give any details of who organised or paid for the trip.
I therefore contacted Southeastern (the rail company that operates between Hastings and London) via Twitter. Their response to deny any knowledge and state that I should contact UK Railtours.
So, I contacted UK Railtours and received the most helpful, but ultimately non productive response:
It appears we will never know the details of this, probably very expensive, election stunt. Bexhill MP Huw Merriman has written this on his website, which does suggest it was organised by Rudd:
I understand that Amber Rudd has been reported to the police and there is more information about her election expenses here, in Hastings Indepedent Press