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Political Parties: Finance

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what research the Electoral Commission has conducted on spending by local party associations under £25,000 a year; and what accounts of associations have been collected as part of that research. (181313)

The Electoral Commission informs me that, in 2004 and in 2007, it canvassed all registered accounting units to inquire as to whether their total income or gross expenditure was greater than £25,000 for the prior financial year. Those that were under this threshold were asked to confirm so in writing.

The purpose of the exercise was to confirm which accounting units should be submitting accounts to the Commission and which should not. The Commission has conducted no research into spending by those associations under the threshold.

In the course of each canvass, some associations under the threshold provided sets of accounts to the Commission. These were not requested and the Commission has no plans to undertake research into them.