A former MP used the lawyer of a company at the centre of a “missing millions” probe for free, the BBC has learned. David Mackintosh used 1st Land’s solicitor after £30k of its funds were channelled to his election campaign. The firm is being investigated over the disappearance of millions of pounds loaned to Northampton Town Football Club.Mr Mackintosh says the solicitor issued a single letter on his behalf.Read more Northamptonshire stories hereThe BBC can reveal Mr Mackintosh was involved in a dispute with local company, Life Publications Ltd, in December 2014. At the time, he was leader of Northampton council and a Conservative candidate in the 2015 general election. The dispute was over claims of copyright infringement in a booklet printed to promote his campaign to become Northampton South MP, which had been distributed to local households.The BBC has seen a solicitor’s letter sent on behalf of Mr Mackintosh to Life Publications by Andrew Gilbert, a consultant at law firm Alexander Marks LLP.The previous August, Mr Gilbert had acted on behalf of 1st Land in response to a claim brought by Northampton Town Football Club, according to other documents seen by the BBC.
1st Land was owned by property developer, Howard Grossman. Mr Gilbert would not comment on the correspondence, citing client confidentiality.Mr Grossman could not be reached for a response to the BBC’s questions about the legal assistance.He was also unable to comment on previous questions from the BBC about donations to Mr Mackintosh’s general election fund.
A spokesman for Mr Mackintosh, who stood down as an MP last May, said: “In 2014, Mr Gilbert of Alexander Marks LLP issued a letter on behalf of David Mackintosh in response to an unfounded claim made by Life Publications Ltd.”Mr Gilbert issued a single letter free of charge and nothing was heard back in response.”Whilst seeking appropriate legal representation from various people, Mr Gilbert was suggested by Howard Grossman.”‘Theft and fraud’Earlier in 2014, three separate donations were made to Mr Mackintosh’s general election fighting fund of £10k each. The BBC established this money did not originate from the stated donors, but from Mr Grossman’s company, 1st Land Ltd.These payments have since been referred to Northamptonshire Police.Seven people have been arrested and nine others interviewed under caution in connection with the disappearance of £10.25m loaned to Northampton Town FC by the local council.The police said they were investigating “allegations of theft and fraud, bribery, misconduct in public office and electoral offences”.It is understood Mr Mackintosh, who oversaw the loan as council leader, and Mr Grossman, were not among those arrested.
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