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Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission on how many occasions the Electoral Commission has imposed a fine in each year since its inception. (222969)

The Electoral Commission informs me that it imposed no fines from 2001 to 2006, in line with its policy of encouraging political parties to develop the necessary procedures and expertise to comply with their legal obligations under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

In January 2007 the Commission put parties on notice that penalties would increasingly be imposed where there was the power to do so. Since then, 154 fines were imposed in 2007 and a further 94 in the period 1 January to 30 September 2008.