Stringer reveals allegations he has taken to police

Former Conservative Party board member John Stringer says he has laid a complaint with police against party leader Colin Craig over what he alleges are electorate return expenditure irregularities.

Mr Stringer is himself the subject of a defamation action from Mr Craig.

Mr Stringer held a media conference in Christchurch this afternoon where he outlined the alleged irregularities and showed documents purporting to be electoral returns.

He told journalists he has been working on gathering the information for several weeks by visiting suppliers of services such as designers, printers and distributors of posters.

Mr Stringer says he approached the Electoral Commission first and he was told to take his complaint to the police.

He says he has been given a file number for his complaint. The police had not returned calls by deadline for this story.

Mr Stringer has tabulated a series of what he claims are omissions and incorrect returns under the Electoral Act 1993 involving a sum under $10,000.

Mr Stringer also accused Mr Craig of micro-managing the party’s campaign to the "consternation" of party officials.

He says Mr Craig has control of the party’s database and other party materials.

Asked how the party could come back from its internal upheavals, Mr Stringer says the Conservative Party has a large membership.

But he also says members are resigning in droves.

“The longer it goes on, the harder it is to salvage anything."

When asked what he expected media to report of his allegations, given the swirling defamation suits and counter allegations, he says the media must ask Mr Craig the questions.

He blamed Mr Craig for a breakdown in relations with the National Party and lack of polticial acumen.

He specifically blamed Mr Craig's "unusual personality" — including comments about chemical trails in the sky, and culminating with the televised sauna session with journalist David Farrier.

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