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Electoral Commission: Effectiveness

Electoral Commission Committee – in the House of Commons on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

What recent assessment the Committee has made of the effectiveness of the Electoral Commission.

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

In accordance with its functions under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the Speaker’s Committee met on 24 March to examine the Electoral Commission’s main supply estimates for 2020-21 and its five-year plan. In doing so, the Committee had regard to the advice from the Treasury and the latest report made to it by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The Committee was satisfied that both the estimate and the plan were consistent with the economic, efficient and effective discharge by the Commission of its functions.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

May I congratulate the hon. Member on his new responsibilities? But this is not about figures— it is about the way that the Electoral Commission has hounded leave campaigners. There have been 34 investigations, eight court cases, and at least four people referred to the police for criminal investigation—and it has all come to nowt. Would the hon. Member support a review by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee?

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

I hope that the hon. Gentleman feels that the Speaker’s Committee is doing a decent job in maintaining scrutiny of the Electoral Commission. It is entirely appropriate, from time to time, for Select Committees to look into public bodies that fall under their competence, and I suggest that he write to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee making that suggestion.