Published: 22 May 2019
Yesterday, Commission representatives attended The Brexit Party to take a closer look at the systems the party has in place to receive funds.
It is legitimate for any political party or campaigner to adopt a fundraising strategy which focuses on raising small sums; contributing funds to support a campaign is an important and valuable way for voters to participate in our democracy. The use of online platforms to enable ease of payment is also legitimate.
Both of these approaches are increasingly common in politics. Both open up additional risk in relation to compliance with UK political finance law. This risk is that it increases the potential for individuals or organisations to evade the permissibility rules, which primarily seek to prevent significant sums entering UK politics from overseas. It is the responsibility of any organisation adopting such an approach, and campaigning to influence people’s votes at an election, to ensure it has the systems in place to maintain its compliance with the law.
Our review of the systems in operation by The Brexit Party is ongoing. This will inform our regulatory work following the European Parliamentary elections and any recommendations we make to the party.
We will also make any recommendations on the wider issue of the workings of the political finance rules in our statutory report on the administration of the poll.
Notes to editors
- The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work 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
The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.