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Election Candidates

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what checks electoral returning officers are required to undertake to establish eligibility of candidates standing in UK elections. (77109)

At UK elections, it is for candidates themselves to determine whether or not they are eligible to stand for election. The Returning Officer's role is to ensure compliance with the procedural requirements relating to the information to be provided in the nomination papers.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what penalties are in place for candidates in UK elections who falsely claim (a) residential and (b) business status in order to stand in such elections. (77110)

Mechanisms exist for the removal from office of candidates in UK elections who falsely claim eligibility to stand and are elected, but are subsequently found to be ineligible to hold that elected office.

There are currently no penalties that attach to the candidate other than their removal from office. However, the Electoral Administration Bill will make it an offence of corrupt practice for a candidate to knowingly give a false declaration in a nomination paper as to their qualification to stand.