Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART II, REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES - continued
Registration - continued

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Registration of minor parties.     32. - (1) This section applies to any party registered in the Great Britain register in pursuance of a declaration falling within section 26(2)(d) (referred to in this Act as a "minor party").
 
      (2) The following provisions do not apply to a minor party-
 
 
    (a) any provisions of this Part so far as relating to the registration of a treasurer for a registered party or otherwise referring to a registered treasurer;
 
    (b) sections 24 and 25; and
 
    (c) sections (Financial structure of existing registered party) and 34;
       but this is subject to subsection (8)(a).
 
      (3) The registered leader of a minor party must, in the case of each anniversary of the party's inclusion in the register, give a notification under this subsection to the Commission within the period beginning one month before the anniversary and ending three months after it.
 
      (4) A notification under subsection (3) must-
 
 
    (a) state that the particulars in the party's entry in the register remain accurate and include any information prescribed under paragraph 6 of Schedule 4 since the relevant time, or
 
    (b) so far as necessary to secure that such particulars will both be accurate and include any information so prescribed, contain one or more of the following, namely-
 
      (i) an application under section 28,
 
      (ii) a notification under section 29, or
 
      (iii) any information so prescribed.
      (5) In subsection (4) "the relevant time" means-
 
 
    (a) the time when the party applied for registration, or
 
    (b) if a notification has previously been given under subsection (3) in relation to the party, the time when the last such notification was given;
       and for the purposes of subsection (4) any particulars held by the Commission in respect of the home address of any registered officer of the party shall be taken to be particulars contained in the party's entry in the register.
 
      (6) A notification under subsection (3) must be accompanied by any fee prescribed by order made by the Secretary of State.
 
      (7) In addition to being able to make an application under section 28, a minor party may apply to the Commission to have-
 
 
    (a) the declaration mentioned in subsection (1) above cancelled, and
 
    (b) the party's existing entry in the Great Britain register replaced by such entry or entries (in that or the Northern Ireland register) as accord with a fresh declaration sent by the party to the Commission and falling within section 26(2)(a), (b) or (c).
      (8) Where a minor party makes an application under subsection (7)-
 
 
    (a) the provisions mentioned in subsection (2)(a) and (b) shall apply to the party;
 
    (b) the party must provide the Commission with such information as-
 
      (i) would, by virtue of Schedule 4, be required to be provided in connection with an application by the party under section 26 to be registered in accordance with the fresh declaration mentioned in subsection (7)(b), and
 
      (ii) has not already been provided in connection with its existing registration as a minor party; and
 
    (c) the following provisions, namely-
 
      (i) sections 26(4) to (8) and 27, and
 
      (ii) paragraphs 1(2) and 7 of Schedule 4,
 
    shall apply, with any necessary modifications, in relation to the party's application as if it were such an application under section 26 as is mentioned in paragraph (b)(i).
Request by Secretary of State.     33. On receipt of a request made by the Secretary of State, the Commission shall send a copy of the Great Britain or Northern Ireland register, or any parts of it specified in the request, to-
 
 
    (a) the Secretary of State; or
 
    (b) any other person so specified.
Assistance by Commission for existing registered parties.     34. - (1) The Commission may, in accordance with a scheme prepared by them for the purposes of this section, provide assistance for existing parties with a view to helping them to meet, or to reducing, the expenses falling to be initially incurred by them in order to comply with Parts III and IV.
 
      (2) The assistance which may be so provided to an existing party may take the form of-
 
 
    (a) a grant to the party, or
 
    (b) the provision of non-financial benefits to the party (such as the provision of computer software free of charge),
       or both, as the scheme may determine.
 
      (3) The scheme may provide for an existing party's entitlement to assistance under this section to depend on the Commission's being satisfied that the expenses falling to be incurred by the party as mentioned in subsection (1) exceed an amount specified in the scheme.
 
      (4) Any grant under this section may be made subject to such conditions as the Commission consider appropriate.
 
      (5) The total expenditure incurred by the Commission in providing assistance under this section (whether by grants or otherwise) shall not exceed £500,000.
 
      (6) The Commission shall publish the scheme in such manner as they consider appropriate.
 
      (7) In this section "existing party" means any party registered under the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 at the commencement of this section.
 
 
Supplemental
Party political broadcasts.     35. - (1) A broadcaster shall not include in its broadcasting services any party political broadcast made on behalf of a party which is not a registered party.
 
      (2) In this Act "broadcaster" means-
 
 
    (a) the holder of a licence under the Broadcasting Act 1990 or 1996 ,
 
    (b) the British Broadcasting Corporation, or
 
    (c) Sianel Pedwar Cymru.
Amendment of parliamentary elections rules.     36. - (1) The rules set out in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983 (the parliamentary elections rules) shall be amended as follows.
 
      (2) In rule 6 (nomination of candidates), for paragraph (3) there shall be substituted-
 
      (3) The description, if any, must consist of either-
 
 
    (a) a description (of not more than 6 words in length) which is authorised as mentioned in rule 6A(1) below; or
 
    (b) the word "Independent" or, where the candidate is the Speaker of the House of Commons seeking re-election, the words "The Speaker seeking re-election".
      (3) In rule 6A (nomination papers: name of registered political party)-
 
 
    (a) in paragraph (1), after "unless" there shall be inserted "the party is a qualifying party in relation to the constituency and"; and
 
    (b) for paragraph (3) there shall be substituted-
      (3) For the purposes of the application of this rule in relation to an election-
 
 
    (a) "registered political party" means a party which was registered under Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 at the time by which the notice of the election is required to be published by virtue of rule 1 ("the relevant time");
 
    (b) a registered political party is a qualifying party in relation to a constituency if-
 
      (i) the constituency is in England, Scotland or Wales and the party was at the relevant time registered in respect of that part of Great Britain in the Great Britain register maintained under that Part of that Act, or
 
      (ii) the constituency is in Northern Ireland and the party was at the relevant time registered in the Northern Ireland register maintained under that Part of that Act.
      (4) In the Appendix of Forms, in the form of nomination paper, for "Merchant" there shall be substituted "Independent".
 
False statements: offence.     37. A person commits an offence if-
 
 
    (a) he knowingly or recklessly makes a statement to the Commission which is false in any material particular, and
 
    (b) the statement is made, or purports to be made, on behalf of a party for any purpose of this Part of this Act.
Interpretation of Part II.     38. - (1) In this Part-
 
 
    "the appointed day" means the day appointed under section 159(2) for the coming into force of section 22;
 
    "financial year", in relation to a registered party, shall be construed in accordance with section 39(6);
 
    "parish or community election" means an election of councillors for a parish in England or a community in Wales;
 
    "party" includes any organisation or person;
 
    "the register" shall be construed in accordance with section 26(9);
 
    "registered" (unless the context otherwise requires) means registered under this Part (whether in the Great Britain or the Northern Ireland register), and other references to registration shall be construed accordingly;
 
    "the registrar of companies" means the registrar or other officer who performs the duty of registering companies under the Companies Act 1985;
 
    "relevant election" shall be construed in accordance with section 21(5).
      (2) For the purposes of this Part a registered party contests an election-
 
 
    (a) by one or more candidates standing for election in the party's name at the election, or
 
    (b) by the party itself standing nominated at the election.
 
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Prepared 26 October 2000