Monthly update – concluded investigations

Summary

Details of 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.

Following an investigation into the political party, Renew, the Commission has imposed ten fines totalling £5,580. The investigation found that the party:

  • Submitted late multiple quarterly donations and transactions reports, throughout 2019
  • Submitted a late pre-poll donations report during the 2019 general election
  • Failed to notify the Commission of changes to its registered officers within the statutory timeframe 

The sanctions have been imposed on the party’s registered treasurer, Mr David Britten. 

Quote from Louise Edwards, director of regulation

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

“It is vital that voters can see accurate and timely financial records that show where a political party’s money comes from. When parties fail to meet their legal duties there is a loss of transparency, which is all the more disappointing when caused by the absence of robust internal structures over a sustained period. 

“Voters can have confidence that, where parties fail to comply with the rules and there is no reasonable explanation, we will take action.”

Investigations where offences were found:

Name and type of regulated entityWhat was investigatedOffences foundDecision taken
Renew (registered political party)Late delivery of multiple quarterly donations and transactions reports; failure to report changes in registered officers within statutory timeframe; failure to deliver 2018 statement of accounts; late delivery of pre-poll donations and transactions reports12 offencesTen variable monetary penalties totalling £5,580. Paid on 20 July 2020
Duma Polska = Polish Pride (registered political party)Late submission of 2018 statement of accounts; late delivery of quarterly donations and transactions reportsLate submission of 2018 statement of accounts; late delivery of quarterly donations and transactions reports£400 variable monetary penalty. Due for payment by 30 July 2020
Conservative and Unionist Party (East Lothian accounting unit)Failure to notify Commission of a change to the registered accounting unit by due dateFailure to notify Commission of a change to the registered accounting unit by due date£300 variable monetary penalty. Paid on 20 July 2020
North East Party (registered political party)Late delivery of weekly donations and transactions reports for 2019 UKPGELate delivery of weekly donations and transactions reports for 2019 UKPGE£200 fixed monetary penalty. Paid on 10 June 2020
Health Campaigns Together (registered non-party campaigner), Dr John Lister (promoter) and Reach Printing Services (printer)Failure to include a valid imprint on campaign material at 2019 UKPGEFailure to include a valid imprint on campaign material at 2019 UKPGE£200 fixed monetary penalty imposed on Dr John Lister. Paid on 29 June 2020

Investigations where no offences were found:

Name and type of regulated entityWhat was investigatedOffences foundDecision taken
Church of the Militant Elvis Party (registered political party)Late delivery of 2019 UKPGE spending returnNo offenceClosed without further action
Liberal Democrats (Haringey Borough accounting unit)Failure to return a donation from an impermissible donor within 30 daysNo offenceClosed without further action

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.