Encourage democracy by reducing burdens on small political parties, says Electoral Commission

Reducing burden on small political parties

The burdens placed on small political parties and their volunteers are disproportionate and should be reduced says the Electoral Commission.

Following a comprehensive review of the UK’s current system of party and election finance regulation, the Electoral Commission has today published a report of its conclusions. The review, which invited the views of political parties, looked at how political parties and campaigners register; the rules on the money they receive and spend; and how those rules are enforced.

The report makes 50 recommendations to Government to update the law covering political parties and other campaigners. These changes will improve the information available to voters, increase the effectiveness of the rules and make obligations more proportionate for those that the Commission regulates.

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission, said:

Our package of 50 recommendations, following a thorough review, is aimed at improving and strengthening the existing system. They simplify the rules for all those that take part in our democratic process – whether they are a local treasurer working from their kitchen table or a large political party fielding candidates at elections across the UK.

The building blocks of our regulatory system must be effective and proportionate. We have published this report as part of our statutory duty to keep party and election finance rules under review and we are now calling on the Government to take these recommendations forward as soon as practically possible.

Read our report A regulatory review of the UK’s party and election finance laws - Recommendations for change (PDF)

For further information contact Karim Aziz in the Electoral Commission press office:

Extra notes

Notes to editors

  • The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulations of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000).
  • The Electoral Commission’s review has focused on the current regulatory framework as set out in the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and the Representation of the People Act 1983 (and the associated Orders where relevant).