New Clause 23 — Candidate at parliamentary election may withhold home address from publication

Political Parties and Elections Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:00 pm on 2nd March 2009.

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'(1) Schedule 1 to the 1983 Act (parliamentary elections rules) is amended as follows.

(2) In rule 6 (nomination of candidates)—

(a) sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (2) is omitted;

(b) after paragraph (3) there is inserted—

"(4) The nomination paper must be accompanied by a form (in this Schedule referred to as the "home address form") which states the candidate's—

(a) full names, and

(b) home address in full.

Provision in paragraph (1) above about delivery of the nomination paper applies also to the home address form.

(5) The home address form—

(a) may contain a statement made and signed by the candidate that he requires the home address not to be made public; and

(b) if it does so, must state the constituency within which that address is situated (or, if that address is outside the United Kingdom, the country within which it is situated)."

(3) In rule 11 (right to attend nomination)—

(a) in paragraph (3), after "nomination paper" there is inserted "and associated home address form";

(b) after paragraph (4) there is inserted—

"(5) The returning officer shall not permit a home address form to be inspected otherwise than in accordance with this rule, or for some other purpose authorised by law."

(4) In rule 12 (validity of nomination papers), in paragraph (1)—

(a) after "consent to it" there is inserted "and the home address form";

(b) after sub-paragraph (a) there is inserted—

"(aa) the returning officer decides that the home address form does not comply with rule 6(4); or".

(5) In rule 14 (publication of statement of persons nominated), after paragraph (3) there is inserted—

"(3A) In relation to a nominated person in whose case the home address form (or, if the person is nominated by more than one nomination paper, any of the home address forms) contains—

(a) the statement mentioned in rule 6(5)(a), and

(b) the information mentioned in rule 6(5)(b),

the reference in paragraph (2) to the person's address shall be read as a reference to the information mentioned in rule 6(5)(b)."

(6) After paragraph (4) of that rule there is inserted—

"(4A) Where—

(a) two or more of the names shown on the statement are the same or so similar as to be likely to cause confusion,

(b) paragraph (3A) applies in relation to each of the persons in question, and

(c) the information mentioned in rule 6(5)(b) is the same for each of them,

the returning officer may cause any of their particulars to be shown on the statement with such amendments or additions as the officer thinks appropriate in order to reduce the likelihood of confusion.

(4B) Where it is practicable to do so before the publication of the statement, the returning officer shall consult any person whose particulars are to be amended or added to under paragraph (4A).

(4C) The returning officer must give notice in writing to any person whose particulars are amended or added to under paragraph (4A).

(4D) Anything done by a returning officer in pursuance of paragraph (4A) must not be questioned in any proceedings other than proceedings on an election petition.

(4E) A returning officer must have regard to any guidance issued by the Electoral Commission for the purposes of paragraph (4A)."

(7) Before rule 54 there is inserted—

"Destruction of home address forms53A The returning officer shall destroy each candidate's home address form—

(a) on the next working day following the 21st day after the officer has returned the name of the member elected; or

(b) if an election petition questioning the election or return is presented before that day, on the next working day following the conclusion of proceedings on the petition or on appeal from such proceedings."'.— (Dr. Julian Lewis.)

Brought up .

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The House proceeded to a Division.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I wonder whether there is any precedent for taking a Division on a completely undebated new clause, which falls in a later group that we have not yet reached, which is in the hands of Back Benchers from an Opposition party and which has not even been moved. Is there a precedent for that?

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

I have made a decision, and given my ruling and the reasons why this vote has been taken. I have nothing further to add.

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The House having divided: Ayes 235, Noes 176.

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Question accordingly agreed to.

New clause 23 added to the Bill.

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

We now have a number of consequential amendments to deal with. With the leave of the House, I would like to take them together.

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Hon. Members:

Object.

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

Very well. We now come to amendment 140, which is to be moved formally.

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