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Session 1999-2000
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Other Bills before Parliament

Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill

This is the text of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill, as amended on Report in the House of Lords and printed on 22 November 2000.

 
 
  
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill
 
 
 
 
ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES

PART I
ESTABLISHMENT OF ELECTORAL COMMISSION AND BODIES WITH RELATED FUNCTIONS
The Electoral Commission
Clause 
1.Establishment of the Electoral Commission.
2.Speaker's Committee.
3.Appointment of Electoral Commissioners and Commission chairman.
4.Parliamentary Parties Panel.

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

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

Supplementary
21.Interpretation of Part I.

PART II

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

The registers of political parties
23.The new registers.

Preliminary requirements
24.Office-holders to be registered.
25.Parties with campaigns officers.
26.Financial structure of registered party: adoption of scheme.
27.Financial structure of registered party: accounting units.

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

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

PART III

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

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

Revision of statements of accounts
48.Revision of defective statements of accounts.

Parties with accounting units
49.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
50.Donations for purposes of Part IV.
51.Sponsorship.
52.Payments, services etc. not to be regarded as donations.
53.Value of donations.

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

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

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

CHAPTER III

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

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

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

Register of donations
69.Register of recordable donations.

CHAPTER IV
POWER TO MAKE SPECIAL PROVISION
Power to make special provision
70.Special provision for Northern Ireland parties.

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

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

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

Financial limits
79.Limits on campaign expenditure.

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

PART VI

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

Recognised third parties
88.Third parties recognised for the purposes of this Part.
89.Register of notifications for purposes of section 88.

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

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

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

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

PART VII
REFERENDUMS
CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY
Referendums to which this Part applies
101.Referendums to which this Part applies.
102.Referendum period.
103.Date of poll.
104.Referendum questions.

Permitted participants
105.Permitted participants.
106.Declarations and notifications for purposes of section 105.
107.Register of declarations and notifications for purposes of section 105.

Assistance for designated organisations
108.Designation of organisations to whom assistance is available.
109.Applications for designation under section 108.
110.Assistance available to designated organisations.

CHAPTER II
FINANCIAL CONTROLS
Referendum expenses
111.Referendum expenses.
112.Notional referendum expenses.

General restrictions relating to referendum expenses incurred by permitted participants
113.Restriction on incurring referendum expenses.
114.Restriction on payments in respect of referendum expenses.
115.Restriction on making claims in respect of referendum expenses.
116.Disputed claims.

Financial limits
117.General restriction on referendum expenses.
118.Special restrictions on referendum expenses by permitted participants.

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

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

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

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

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

Control of candidates' election expenses
132.Financial limits applying to candidates' election expenses.
133.Power to vary provisions about election expenses.
134.Meaning of "election expenses".
135.Meaning of "candidate".

Corrupt and illegal practices
136.Corrupt and illegal practices: consequences for persons convicted of such practices.
137.Corrupt and illegal practices: election petitions etc.

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

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

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

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

Pre-consolidation amendments
142.Pre-consolidation amendments.

Election material
143.Details to appear on election material.

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

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

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

Provisions relating to offences
150.Punishment of offences.
151.Summary proceedings.
152.Offences committed by bodies corporate.
153.Offences committed by unincorporated associations.
154.Duty of court to report convictions to Commission.

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

Supplementary
156.Orders and regulations.
157.Documents for purposes of the Act.
158.Minor and consequential amendments and repeals.
159.Financial provisions.
160.General interpretation.
161.Interpretation: donations.
162.Interpretation: exempt trust donations.
163.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.
    Part VI-Power to make special provision.
    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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Prepared 23 November 2000