The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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Conservative Party forfeit donation

Published: 13 Jul 2011

The Electoral Commission announced today that the Conservative Party has agreed to forfeit a £700 impermissible donation.

Under Section 54(1) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA), registered political parties must not accept a donation from an impermissible donor. Parties have 30 days to check that a donor is permissible and either accept the donation, or return to the donor if it is from an impermissible source.

The party accepted the £700 donation from Mrs Jade Graff-Baker on 11 January 2011. Mrs Graff-Baker was not on a UK electoral register at the time of the donation and therefore was not a permissible donor.

The party has agreed to voluntarily forfeit the donation, and therefore legal action by the Commission is not necessary.

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Notes to Editors

  1. The Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000 established the Electoral Commission as an independent body to regulate political party financing and provided the legal framework under which the Commission operates.
  2. Section 54(2) of PPERA defines permissible donors to registered political parties as:
    • a UK registered company
    • a UK registered trade union
    • a UK registered building society
    • a UK registered limited liability partnership
    • a UK registered friendly/building society
    • a UK based unincorporated association
  3. Under section 58 of PPERA, the Electoral Commission has the power to apply to the courts for an order to forfeit a sum equal to any impermissible donation a party has accepted and not returned within the statutory 30 days.
  4. Any amount forfeited is paid into the Consolidated Fund. It is not retained by the Electoral Commission nor returned to the donor

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