The Electoral Commission

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

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Monthly update – concluded investigations

Published: 18 Sep 2018

Details of the investigations concluded in the last month have been published today by the Electoral Commission. This is an important part of delivering transparency in political finance in the UK.

Investigation where no offence was found

The Electoral Commission has concluded its investigation into whether the UK Independence Party (UKIP) took certain impermissible donations from a European political party and foundation. The Commission has not found offences on the evidence available.

A media statement and report on this investigation has been published on our website.

Investigations where offences were found

Name and type of regulated entity

What was investigated

Decision taken

Outcome

Compass (third party campaigner)

Payment of 2017 UKPGE campaign expenses claims outside 60 days

£500 (variable monetary penalty)

Paid on 6 September 2018

Social Democratic and Labour Party (registered party in Northern Ireland)

Inaccurate quarterly donations reports and late notification of change of registered officer

2 x £250 (variable monetary penalties)

Paid on 5 September 2018

Irvine Unionist Club (third party campaigner)

Failure to provide notification of gifts to a political party exceeding £25,000, and notification of gifts received by due date

£400 (variable monetary penalty)

Paid on 26 August 2018

Unite the Union (third party campaigner)

Failure to deliver accurate spending return for 2017 UKPGE

£250 (variable monetary penalty)

Paid on 7 September 2018

Friends of the Earth Trust (third party campaigner)

Late delivery of spending return for 2017 UKPGE

£250 (variable monetary penalty)

Paid on initial notice, on 8 August 2018

Ashford Independent (registered party)

Late delivery of 2017 statement of accounts

No sanction. The party delivered the accounts late, but the Commission was satisfied that there were mitigating factors and did not impose a sanction.

Closed without further action

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

“The reporting requirements are clear, so it is always disappointing when parties and campaigners fail to comply. It’s vital that voters are given an opportunity to see accurate and full reportable data on what parties and campaigners 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 and campaigners to ensure voters have the information they need.”

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. 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.

  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. Details for previous months sanctions can be found on our website.
  3. Penalties imposed by the Commission go into the Consolidated Fund. This is managed by HM Treasury and not the Electoral Commission.

Journalist