Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act

Oral Answers to Questions — Electoral Commission Committee – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 7th May 2009.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Shadow Minister (Treasury) 10:30 am, 7th May 2009

What progress the Electoral Commission has made on ensuring that constituency accounting units are complying with the provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

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Photo of Peter Viggers Peter Viggers Conservative, Gosport

In addition to its routine analysis, the commission wrote to all accounting units in March 2009, reminding them of their responsibilities regarding the filing of annual statements of accounts under the 2000 Act.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Shadow Minister (Treasury)

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Does he share my concern that the Prime Minister's constituency Labour party appears to have submitted no constituency accounts to the Electoral Commission since 2006?

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Photo of Peter Viggers Peter Viggers Conservative, Gosport

That specific point will, of course, be drawn to the Electoral Commission's attention. Generally, the commission will review the statement of accounts submitted at the end of April 2009, and will assess which accounting unit should be contacted to confirm compliance with the reporting requirement for 2008. Its general philosophy has been to allow accounting units to learn how the system works, and gradually to tighten disciplinary procedures. That is the procedure it will follow in the case in question.

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