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Political Parties: Finance

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he plans to consult on the regulations to be adopted under the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 on donations by Irish citizens to political parties in Northern Ireland. (132871)

The Government intend to lay the draft Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (Northern Ireland Political Parties) Order 2007 before both Houses of Parliament as soon as practicable. The Electoral Commission have been consulted throughout the process of the drafting of the Order. The main political parties in Northern Ireland will be given advance sight of the draft Order before it is laid.

A formal consultation exercise was carried out in 2005 on the future of donations to political parties in Northern Ireland. This gave rise to the donations provisions contained in Part 3 of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006. This, along with the Political Parties Elections and Referendum Act 2000, is the parent Act which contains the enabling power under which the 2007 Order will be made.