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Political parties fined for breaching political finance rules

Published: 17 Apr 2018

Details of concluded investigations have been published today by the Electoral Commission. The cases relate to late deliveries of financial reports by a number of political parties.

Socialist Party of Great Britain

The Socialist Party of Great Britainwas handed three separate fines of £7,500, £2,000, and £500, totalling £10,000. Amongst the offences committed, the party did not deliver donations reports for the first three quarters of 2016 by the statutory deadline date, including failing to report a substantial donation, a bequest, of £360,000. The party has already paid the fine.

British National Party

The British National Party was handed three separate fines - £3,000, £2,000 and £500. This resulted from the delivery of one 2017 general election pre-poll donation report after the statutory deadline, delivering  its statement of accounts after the statutory deadline, and delivering a further report which was inaccurate as it failed to include a substantial donation of £100,000. The party has until 18 April 2018 to pay the fine.

Commenting on the fines, Bob Posner, Director of Party Finance and Regulation & Legal Counsel at the Electoral Commission, said:

“The reporting requirements for political parties are clear, so it is always disappointing when parties report late or inaccurately. It`s vital that voters are given an opportunity to see accurate and full reportable data on what parties spend money on in order to influence them at elections. This provides transparency in the political finance system and is open for anyone to scrutinise. The Commission will continue to enforce these requirements on all parties to ensure voters have the information they need.”

Further fines

The Labour Party delivered a quarterly loan report to the Commission a day after the statutory deadline, and received a fine of £750. The party has already paid the fine.

Details of fines, ranging from £200 to £400, imposed on four other registered political parties have also been released today by the Commission. The full monthly investigations update, which includes details on all of the Commission’s recently concluded investigations, can be found on our website here.

Where fines are not paid by the due date, the fines increase.

This information has been published as part of the Commission’s regular monthly investigations update, an important part of its commitment to deliver transparency in political finance in the UK.

Ends

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk

Notes to editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. It works to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
    • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
    • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
    • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency

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    The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

  2. This release forms part of the Commission’s regular monthly investigations update, an important part of its commitment to deliver transparency in political finance in the UK. Information of this nature is published routinely on the third Tuesday of each month. The full monthly investigations update, which includes details on all of the Commission’s recently concluded investigations, can be found on our website here: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/our-work/roles-and-responsibilities/our-role-as-regulator-of-political-party-finances/sanctions
  3. Penalties imposed by the Commission go into the Consolidated Fund. This is managed by HM Treasury and not the Electoral Commission.

Journalist