Monthly update - concluded investigations

Summary

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.
 

Investigations where offences were found:

Name and type of regulated entityWhat was investigatedOffences foundDecision taken
Lambeth Labour Group (members association and unincorporated association)Failure to provide notification of gifts to a political party exceeding £25,000Failure to provide notification of gifts to a political party exceeding £25,000£600 variable monetary penalty. Paid on 18 May 2020
Labour for a People's Vote (members association)Failure to deliver two donations reports within 30 days of acceptance of donationsFailure to deliver two donations reports within 30 days of acceptance of donations2 x £200 fixed monetary penalties totalling £400. Paid on 14 May 2020
Shropshire Party (registered political party)Late delivery of weekly donations and transactions reports for 2019 UKPGELate delivery of weekly donations and transactions reports for 2019 UKPGE2 x £200 fixed monetary penalties totalling £400. Paid on 29 April 2020
Cynon Valley (registered political party)Late submission of 2018 statement of accountsLate submission of 2018 statement of accounts£200 fixed monetary penalty. Due for payment by 19 May 2020
Ulster Unionist Party (Fermanagh and South Tyrone accounting unit)Late submission of 2017 statement of accountsLate submission of 2017 statement of accounts£200 fixed monetary penalty. Paid on 17 April 2020
Kingston Independent Residents Group (registered political party)Late submission of 2018 statement of accountsLate submission of 2018 statement of accountsNo sanction. Closed without further action

Commenting on the fines imposed, Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation, said:

“The reporting requirements are clear, so it is always disappointing when parties and members associations fail to provide timely reports. It is vital that voters are given an opportunity to see full, accurate data on where their money comes from and how it is spent.

“The Commission will continue to enforce these requirements on all parties and campaigners to ensure that voters have the information they need.”

Northern Ireland regulated donees

The Commission has also concluded two investigations in relation to donations accepted by two regulated donees prior to 1 July 2017. No determination of offence was made in either case. 

The Commission continues to be prohibited by legislation from disclosing any information concerning donations to Northern Ireland recipients made prior to 1 July 2017 (section 71E of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000).

Commenting on the closure of investigations relating to donations in Northern Ireland, Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation, said:

“We regret that we remain unable to disclose information about donations prior to July 2017. We continue to urge the UK Government to bring forward legislation that will enable us to publish information on donations from January 2014. This would give transparency and confidence to voters in Northern Ireland.”

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

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.

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 sanctions from previous months are available.

Penalties imposed by the Commission go into the Consolidated Fund. This is managed by HM Treasury and not the Electoral Commission.

The Transparency of Donations and Loans etc. (Northern Ireland Political Parties) Order 2018 allows the Commission to publish information about donations and loans reported by Northern Ireland political parties and other regulated entities from 1 July 2017 onwards.

The Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 enabled the Secretary of State to permit the Commission to publish details of reported donations from 1 January 2014. However, the secondary legislation brought forward for this purpose only permitted publication of donations and loans from 1 July 2017.  

Backdating this law would allow us to publish details of donations that cover the 2015 UK Parliamentary General Election; the 2016 and 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly Elections; and the 2016 EU Referendum.