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Party Political Broadcasts

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission pursuant to his answer of 15 January 2007, Official Report, column 792W, on political party expenditure, what (a) research the Electoral Commission has (i) undertaken and (ii) commissioned on and (b) estimates the Commission has made of the value of free party political and election broadcasts. (123901)

The Electoral Commission’s 2004 report “The Funding of Political Parties” noted that the availability of free airtime to political parties at the time of elections and at other key events in the political calendar is, in effect, an indirect subsidy of their activities. The Commission informs me that it has not conducted research into, or made any estimate of, the value of such free airtime to political parties.