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House of Commons Hansard
20 July 2017
Volume 627
  • 1. What discussions she has had with the commission on allegations of illegal funding during the EU referendum campaign. [900612]

  • The commission has published two reports that include its assessment of the rules on campaign funding for the EU referendum. The commission has also completed investigations of issues with a small number of campaigner spending returns, none of which related to impermissible donations. It is continuing to consider issues with some campaigners’ spending returns, in line with its published enforcement policy. The commission publishes the outcome of all investigations on its website once investigations have been completed.

  • Can my hon. Friend confirm—or, if not, ask the Electoral Commission—whether it has received allegations of illegal financial funding from Russia to elements of the leave campaign?

  • The commission is aware of media reports that allege that there could have been Russian involvement in the EU referendum. These cover a wide range of alleged activities that are beyond the commission’s remit. Any allegation with evidence that a registered campaigner accepted impermissible donations from Russia would be investigated in line with the commission’s enforcement policy, but I am sure that officials from the commission would be more than happy to meet my right hon. Friend to discuss this matter further.

  • Does my hon. Friend—and she is a friend—agree that not only is illegal funding wrong, but so is electoral fraud? May I invite her to ask the commission to conduct a proper inquiry into having a national voter register, to ensure that people do not double and triple vote in general elections and other elections?

  • I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. He will know that the 381 electoral registers are maintained by different electoral registration offices across the country, and it is not currently possible to interrogate them collectively in order to identify duplicate entries or voting in more than one area. The commission will be happy to work with the Government to consider potential solutions to reduce this risk.