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Session 1999-2000
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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill

This is the text of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill, as amended in Committee in the House of Lords and printed on 24th October 2000.

 
 
  
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill
 
 
 
 
ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES

PART I
THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
The Electoral Commission
Clause 
1.Establishment of the Electoral Commission.
2.Speaker's Committee.
3.Appointment of Electoral Commissioners and Commission chairman.

Commission's general functions
4.Reports on elections and referendums.
5.Reviews of electoral and political matters.
6.Commission to be consulted on changes to electoral law.
7.Powers with respect to elections exercisable only on Commission recommendation.
8.Involvement of Commission in changes in electoral procedures.
9.Giving of advice and assistance.
10.Broadcasters to have regard to Commission's views on party political broadcasts.
11.Policy development grants.
12.Education about electoral and democratic systems.

Commission's electoral boundary functions
13.Boundary committees.
14.Deputy Electoral Commissioners.
15.Transfer of functions of Boundary Commissions.
16.Transfer of property etc. of the Boundary Commissions.
17.Transfer of functions of Local Government Commission for England.
18.Transfer of functions of Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland.
19.Transfer of fuctions of Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales.

Supplementary
20.Interpretation of Part I.

PART II

REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES
Requirement for registration
21.Parties to be registered in order to field candidates at elections.

The registers of political parties
22.The new registers.

Preliminary requirements
23.Office-holders to be registered.
24.Financial structure of registered party: adoption of scheme.
25.Financial structure of registered party: accounting units.

Registration
26.Registration of parties.
27.Emblems.
28.Changes to the register.
29.Notification of changes in party's officers etc.
30.Confirmation of registered particulars etc.
31.Party ceasing to be registered.
32.Registration of minor parties.
33.Request by Secretary of State.
34.Assistance by Commission for existing registered parties.

Supplemental
35.Party political broadcasts.
36.Amendment of parliamentary elections rules.
37.False statements: offence.
38.Interpretation of Part II.

PART III

ACCOUNTING REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTERED PARTIES
Accounting records
39.Duty to keep accounting records.

Statements of accounts
40.Annual statements of accounts.
41.Annual audits.
42.Supplementary provisions about auditors.
43.Delivery of statements of accounts etc. to Commission.
44.Public inspection of parties' statements of accounts.
45.Criminal penalty for failure to submit proper statement of accounts.

Revision of statements of accounts
46.Revision of defective statements of accounts.

Parties with accounting units
47.Division of responsibilities in case of party with accounting units.

PART IV

CONTROL OF DONATIONS TO REGISTERED PARTIES AND THEIR MEMBERS ETC.
CHAPTER I

DONATIONS TO REGISTERED PARTIES
48.Donations for purposes of Part IV.
49.Sponsorship.
50.Payments, services etc. not to be regarded as donations.
51.Value of donations.

CHAPTER II

RESTRICTIONS ON DONATIONS TO REGISTERED PARTIES
Permissible donations
52.Permissible donors.
53.Payments etc. which are (or are not) to be treated as donations by permissible donors.
54.Acceptance or return of donations: general.
55.Return of donations where donor unidentifiable.

Forfeiture of certain donations
56.Forfeiture of donations made by impermissible or unidentifiable donors.
57.Appeal against order under section 56.
58.Supplementary provisions about orders under section 56.

Evasion of restrictions on donations
59.Offences concerned with evasion of restrictions on donations.

CHAPTER III

REPORTING OF DONATIONS TO REGISTERED PARTIES
Reports to be made by registered parties
60.Quarterly donation reports.
61.Weekly donation reports during general election periods.
62.Exemptions from section 61.
63.Submission of donation reports to Commission.
64.Declaration by treasurer in donation report.

Extension of reporting requirements
65.Weekly donation reports in connection with elections other than general elections.

Reports to be made by donors
66.Reporting of multiple small donations.

Register of donations
67.Register of recordable donations.

Power to make special provision
68.Special provision for Northern Ireland parties.

CHAPTER IV
CONTROL OF DONATIONS TO INDIVIDUALS AND MEMBERS ASSOCIATIONS
69.Control of donations to individuals and members associations.

PART V
CONTROL OF CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURE
Preliminary
70.Campaign expenditure.
71.Notional campaign expenditure.
72.Officers of registered party with responsibility for campaign expenditure.

General restrictions relating to campaign expenditure
73.Restriction on incurring campaign expenditure.
74.Restriction on payments in respect of campaign expenditure.
75.Restriction on making claims in respect of campaign expenditure.
76.Disputed claims.

Financial limits
77.Limits on campaign expenditure.

Returns
78.Returns as to campaign expenditure.
79.Auditor's report on return.
80.Delivery of returns to the Commission.
81.Declaration by treasurer as to return under section 78.
82.Public inspection of returns under section 78.

PART VI
CONTROLS RELATING TO THIRD PARTY NATIONAL ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY
Controlled expenditure by third parties
83.Controlled expenditure by third parties.
84.Notional controlled expenditure.
85.Expenditure by third parties which is not controlled expenditure.

Recognised third parties
86.Third parties recognised for the purposes of this Part.
87.Register of notifications for purposes of section 86.

CHAPTER II
FINANCIAL CONTROLS
General restrictions relating to controlled expenditure by recognised third parties
88.Restriction on incurring controlled expenditure.
89.Restriction on payments in respect of controlled expenditure.
90.Restriction on making claims in respect of controlled expenditure.
91.Disputed claims.

Financial limits
92.Limits on controlled expenditure by third parties.

Donations to recognised third parties
93.Control of donations to recognised third parties.

Returns
94.Returns as to controlled expenditure.
95.Auditor's report on return.
96.Delivery of returns to the Commission.
97.Declaration by responsible person as to return under section 94.
98.Public inspection of returns under section 94.

PART VII
REFERENDUMS
CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY
Referendums to which this Part applies
99.Referendums to which this Part applies.
100.Referendum period.
101.Date of poll.

Permitted participants
102.Permitted participants.
103.Declarations and notifications for purposes of section 102.
104.Register of declarations and notifications for purposes of section 102.

Assistance for designated organisations
105.Designation of organisations to whom assistance is available.
106.Applications for designation under section 105.
107.Assistance available to designated organisations.

CHAPTER II
FINANCIAL CONTROLS
Referendum expenses
108.Referendum expenses.
109.Notional referendum expenses.

General restrictions relating to referendum expenses incurred by permitted participants
110.Restriction on incurring referendum expenses.
111.Restriction on payments in respect of referendum expenses.
112.Restriction on making claims in respect of referendum expenses.
113.Disputed claims.

Financial limits
114.General restriction on referendum expenses.
115.Special restrictions on referendum expenses by permitted participants.

Donations to permitted participants
116.Control of donations to permitted participants.

Returns
117.Returns as to referendum expenses.
118.Auditor's report on return.
119.Delivery of returns to Commission.
120.Declaration of responsible person as to return under section 117.
121.Public inspection of returns under section 117.

CHAPTER III
CONTROLS ON PUBLICATIONS
122.Restriction on publication etc. of promotional material by central and local government etc.
123.Details to appear on referendum material.
124.Referendum campaign broadcasts.

CHAPTER IV
CONDUCT OF REFERENDUMS
125.Chief Counting Officers, and counting officers, for referendums.
126.Orders regulating conduct of referendums.

PART VIII
ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND PROCEEDINGS
Control of donations to candidates
127.Control of donations to candidates.
128.Election expenses incurred otherwise than by candidate.

Control of candidates' election expenses
129.Financial limits applying to candidates' election expenses.
130.Power to vary provisions about election expenses.
131.Meaning of "election expenses".
132.Meaning of "candidate".

Corrupt and illegal practices
133.Corrupt and illegal practices: consequences for persons convicted of such practices.
134.Corrupt and illegal practices: election petitions etc.

Miscellaneous amendments
135.Election campaigns and proceedings: miscellaneous amendments.

PART IX
POLITICAL DONATIONS AND EXPENDITURE BY COMPANIES
Control of political donations
136.Control of political donations by companies.

Disclosure of political donations and expenditure
137.Disclosure of political donations and expenditure in directors' report.

PART X
MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL
Overseas electors
138.Reduction of qualifying period for overseas electors.

Pre-consolidation amendments
139.Pre-consolidation amendments.

Election material
140.Details to appear on election material.

Broadcasting during election period
141.Broadcasting of local items during election period.

Enforcement of Act
142.General function of Commission with respect to monitoring compliance with controls imposed by the Act etc.
143.Supervisory powers of Commission.
144.Civil penalty for failure to deliver documents etc.
145.General offences.

Inspection of registers etc.
146.Inspection of Commission's registers etc.

Provisions relating to offences
147.Punishment of offences.
148.Summary proceedings.
149.Offences committed by bodies corporate.
150.Offences committed by unincorporated associations.
151.Duty of court to report convictions to Commission.

Variation of specified sums
152.Power to vary specified sums.

Supplementary
153.Orders and regulations.
154.Documents for purposes of the Act.
155.Minor and consequential amendments and repeals.
156.Financial provisions.
157.General interpretation.
158.Interpretation: donations.
159.Short title, commencement, transitional provisions and extent.
 

SCHEDULES:
    Schedule 1-The Electoral Commission.
    Schedule 2-The Speaker's Committee.
    Schedule 3-Transfer of functions of Boundary Commissions.
    Part I-Amendments of Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986.
    Part II-Amendments of other Acts.
    Schedule 4-Applications under Part II.
    Part I-Application for registration.
    Part II-Application for alteration of entry.
    Part III-Application for registration of replacement officer.
    Part IV-Application for removal of entry.
    Schedule 5-Accounting units: application of accounting requirements.
    Schedule 6-Details to be given in donation reports.
    Schedule 7-Control of donations to individuals and members associations.
    Part I-Introductory.
    Part II-Controls on donations.
    Part III-Reporting of donations by regulated donees.
    Part IV-Reporting of donations by donors.
    Part V-Register of donations.
    Schedule 8-Campaign expenditure: qualifying expenses.
    Part I-Qualifying expenses.
    Part II-Supplemental.
    Schedule 9-Limits on campaign expenditure.
    Part I-Introductory.
    Part II-General limits.
    Part III-Limits applying in special circumstances.
    Schedule 10-Limits on controlled expenditure.
    Part I-Introductory.
    Part II-General limits.
    Part III-Limits applying in special circumstances.
    Schedule 11-Control of donations to recognised third parties.
    Part I-Operation and interpretation of Schedule.
    Part II-Controls on donations.
    Part III-Reporting of donations.
    Schedule 12-Assistance available to designated organisations.
    Schedule 13-Referendum expenses: qualifying expenses.
    Part I-Qualifying expenses.
    Part II-Supplemental.
    Schedule 14-Limits on referendum expenses by permitted participants.
    Schedule 15-Control of donations to permitted participants.
    Part I-Introductory.
    Part II-Controls on donations.
    Part III-Reporting of donations.
    Schedule 16-Control of donations to candidates: New Schedule 2A to the Representation of the People Act 1983.
    Part I-Operation and interpretation of Schedule.
    Part II-Controls on donations.
    Part III-Reporting of donations.
    Schedule 17-Amendments relating to election petitions.
    Schedule 18-Election campaigns and proceedings: miscellaneous amendments.
    Schedule 19-Control of political donations by companies: new Part XA of Companies Act 1985.
    Schedule 20-Penalties.
    Schedule 21-Minor and consequential amendments.
    Schedule 22-Repeals.
    Schedule 23-Transitional provisions.
    Part I-Transfer of registration of existing registered parties.
    Part II-Other transitional provisions.
 


 
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© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 26 October 2000