Electoral Commission: Referendums and Elections Spending - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:29 am on 23rd May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 11:29 am, 23rd May 2019

My Lords, the Minister said that political parties “vary considerably”. Their finances also vary considerably, and one of the structural problems in British politics is that the Conservative Party is now able centrally to raise so much more finance than any of the other parties. I recognise—as a member of a party which has activists under the age of 50 and is therefore able to deliver its own leaflets without having to pay others to do so—that it needs some of this. But is it not urgent that financing that comes into the centre of the Conservative Party should be carefully examined to eliminate those large donations that come from people who are not domiciled in the United Kingdom or are not British citizens? Is it not also urgent that the rules be tightened to allow central spending to be directed to particular constituencies and thus get round the limitations on constituency campaign funding?