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Political Parties: Finance

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to introduce spending limits on parliamentary candidates. (289630)

Section 21 of the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 will introduce pre-candidacy spending limits on the election expenses of individuals at certain general elections. These spending limits will apply if and when a Parliament runs for over 55 months. In the case of the current Parliament, the spending limit would apply to all election expenses used after 1 January 2010, should Parliament not be dissolved before that date.

As I made clear at Commons Report stage of the Political Parties and Elections Bill on 9 February, these provisions will not be commenced until restrictions on the use of the Communications Expenditure have been agreed by the House. As my hon. Friend, the Deputy Leader of the House (Barbara Keeley) made clear in a written answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) on 20 July 2009, Official Report, column 800W, the Leader of the House hopes to bring forward the necessary amendments shortly after the summer adjournment.