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Parliamentary Election Expenses (Returns)

Volume 884: debated on Wednesday 22 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what penalties attach to the failure to deliver a statutory return of parliamentary election expenses to the returning officer; and who is responsible for initiating proceedings.

Failure, without authorised excuse, to send to the returning officer a true return of election expenses is an illegal practice punishable on summary conviction by a maximum fine of £100 together with a term of five years' legal incapacity to vote at elections in the area of the constituency. The election of a successful candidate is void if he is reported personally guilty, or guilty by his agents, of an illegal practice, and he is legally incapable of sitting in Parliament for the constituency for seven years if personally guilty, or for the duration of the Parliament if guilty by his agents. Prosecution for an illegal practice may be instituted by a private person or by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many candidates in the United Kingdom, in the General Election of February 1974, failed to deliver their statutory return of election expenses to the appropriate returning officer.