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Electoral Regulations (Compliance)

Volume 627: debated on Thursday 20 July 2017

6. Whether the Commission is undertaking a review of political parties’ compliance with electoral regulations during the 2017 general election. (900619)

Prior to the general election, the commission produced detailed guidance for political parties to help them comply with their statutory reporting requirements. The commission also engaged with a number of parties to discuss our arrangements for compliance. Its advice service for parties was available and well used throughout the campaign. The commission will publish parties’ spending returns for the general election as soon as is practicably possible once the deadlines for submitting the returns has passed.

I thank my hon. Friend for her response. She should be aware that serious allegations have been made about the use of a call centre in Neath by the Conservative party during the general election campaign. I want to tell the House that I have heard from the Electoral Commission, which has stated in writing that South Wales police are formally considering the allegations.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that. He will know that political parties that spend over £250,000 at the general election have six months to send audited spending returns to the commission, and they will need to include details of all party spending on campaigning at the election.

It is a potential offence under the Representation of the People Acts for there to be paid canvassing on behalf of the candidate, and any allegations would be a matter for the relevant police force to consider.