Skip to main content

Imprints in Social Media

Volume 582: debated on Thursday 12 June 2014

2. What discussions the Committee has had with the Electoral Commission on updating guidance on the use of imprints in social media. (904159)

In United Kingdom elections there is no legal requirement for imprints to be used in social media. However, the Electoral Commission’s guidance recommends as good practice that all campaign material should contain information equivalent to an imprint so that the identity of the campaigner is clear.

Last month my constituent Michael Abberton was visited by the police after a UKIP councillor complained about his tweeting a fact-check list of UKIP’s policies. That was clearly absurd, although I can see why UKIP did not want people to know its policies, and the police have apologised to my constituent. This raises concerns about the guidance, which has not been updated recently. Will the hon. Gentleman ask the commission to look at this urgently and produce more up-to-date guidance ahead of next year’s elections?

I think the guidance is clear enough. The issue is whether the Government are going to introduce as a matter of law the need for an imprint on social media campaigning material. As I understand it, that is a matter that the Government are still considering.