Laws introduced by the UK Parliament when the Electoral Commission was established allow us to bring prosecutions against those who break electoral law relating to parties and campaigners. The UK Government is proposing a change that would stop us from being able to bring such prosecutions.
Effective enforcement when the rules are broken gives voters confidence in the electoral system.
The UK Government does not consider this to be an area of work we should undertake. In the public interest, in order to fill any regulatory gap, the Police and Crown Prosecution Service will need to work with us to take forward appropriate prosecutions. This means prosecuting the full range of offences, from the lower order criminal offences often brought to light through our investigatory work, right through to the more significant offences. We would welcome the government making it clear in the passage of the Bill that this will be the case.
Voters have the right to expect that any political party or campaigner which deliberately or recklessly breaks electoral law will face prosecution.