asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether any queries have been raised with the certification officer in connection with any alleged malpractice in the conduct of political fund ballots held under the Trade Union Act 1984; and whether he will make a statement.
I am informed by the certification officer that he has not received any queries about malpractices alleged to have taken place during a political fund ballot held under the provisions of the Trade Union Act 1984. The certification officer has the statutory responsibility for approving rules for political fund ballots but he has no power to examine alleged infringements of those rules. This would be a matter for the courts. I am not aware of any proceedings in this connection.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what correspondence has been entered into with the certification officer on the funding of political fund ballot campaigns from general funds of trade unions; and whether he will make a statement.
I am informed by the certification officer that he has received two letters inquiring in general terms about the statutory provisions relating to the funding of political fund ballot campaigns, to which he has replied giving advice in so far as he is able to do so having regard to his statutory responsibilities. Political fund ballot campaigns may be paid for from general funds of trade unions with the exception of any items of expenditure which are in furtherance of "political objects", as defined in the Trade Union Act 1913, as amended by the Trade Union Act 1984. These are:
"the expenditure of money:
(a) on any contribution to the funds of, or on the payment of any expenses incurred directly or indirectly by, a political party; (b) on the provision of any service or property for use by or on behalf of any political party; (c) in connection with the registration of electors, the candidature of any person, the selection of any candidate or the holding of any ballot by the union in connection with any election to a political office; (d) on the maintenance of any holder of a political office; (e) on the holding of any conference or meeting by or on behalf of a political party or of any other meeting the main purpose of which is the transaction of business an connection with a political party; (f) on the production, publication or distribution of any literature, document, film, sound recording or advertisement the main purpose of which is to pursuade people to vote for a political party or candidate or to persuade them not to vote for a political party or candidate".
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has been presented with any complaint backed by evidence of malpractice in the conduct of any political fund ballot held under the Trade Union Act 1984; and whether he will make a statement.
I have been presented with no such complaint.