There are limits on how much candidates can spend at an election, and controls on the sources of funding for that spending.

After elections, candidates and their agents have to submit a candidate spending return to the Returning Officer at the local council. The spending return lists what the candidate spent during the election campaign and also any donations they received.

For major contests, such as UK Parliamentary general elections, Returning Officers send copies of the candidate spending returns to us. We then make this data available for you to view.

Although we look at the returns to monitor compliance with the rules, we can’t take further action ourselves if we find inaccuracies.

It is the responsibility of the police to deal with any allegations that a return is inaccurate.