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“As we have consistently said, the local agents of Conservative candidates correctly declared all local spending in the 2015 general election.” He said the party’s campaign headquarters accepted in March 2016 that it had made an “administrative error” by not declaring 0.6 per cent of the Tories’ national spending in the 2015 election campaign.
“This error was subsequently corrected and the party has since improved its accounting practices, reporting structures and staff guidance.
Sir John said: “Our investigation uncovered numerous failures by a large, well-resourced and experienced party to ensure that accurate records of spending were maintained and that all of the party’s spending was reported correctly.
“The rules established by Parliament for political parties and their finances are there to ensure transparency and accountability.
The fine comes after a dozen police forces announced they had sent files to the Crown Prosecution Service as part of a probe into the Conservatives’ 2015 election expenses.
Mr Goldsmith who beat the Liberal Democrats in to second place in a narrow victory in 2010, had increased his majority to over 15,000 at the 2015 election, following a long campaign against the proposed third runway at Heathrow.
He also lost to Labour's Sadiq Khan in a bitter race for the London mayoralty in May this year.
It has also referred one matter, relating to the party’s treasurer declaring he had examined a return and believed it to be complete and correct, to the Metropolitan Police.
The investigation found the party’s spending return for the 2015 general election was missing payments worth at least £104,765.