Tory aide bought Sol Campbell size 14 trainers and put them on expenses, court hears

Marion Little tells trial footwear of required size was not easy to find in south Thanet

Ryan Hooper
Tuesday 13 November 2018 16:28
Conservative Party activist Marion Little arrives at Southwark Crown Court accused of three counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence on 17 October 2018 (Jack Taylor /
Conservative Party activist Marion Little arrives at Southwark Crown Court accused of three counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence on 17 October 2018 (Jack Taylor /

A senior Conservative aide has described how she had to buy size 14 trainers for former England footballer Sol Campbell when he forgot to bring suitable footwear while visiting a key constituency for the party in 2015.

Marion Little told her expenses trial at Southwark Crown Court how former Tottenham and Arsenal defender Mr Campbell volunteered for the Tories during that General Election campaign.

He was among a series of high-profile visitors to the South Thanet constituency where Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay and Ukip leader Nigel Farage went head to head.

Asked by her defence counsel Jim Sturman QC to tell jurors about Mr Campbell's visit to the Kent seat, Little said he had "forgot to bring his trainers" and was due to attend a children's training session afterwards.

She agreed with Mr Sturman it was "not easy" to find size 14 trainers in south Thanet at short notice, but did so and paid for them out of her own pocket.

She added: "He (Mr Campbell) was down there as a Conservative supporter and volunteer.

"I think he was interested in being a candidate for the (London) mayoral campaign."

Ms Little, of Ware, Hertfordshire, denies three counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence under the Serious Crime Act 2007.

Mackinlay, from Ramsgate, Kent, denies two charges of making a false election expenses declaration under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

A third defendant, 29-year-old Tory aide Nathan Gray, of Hawkhurst, Kent, denies one like charge.

The trial continues.

Press Association