Elections: Expenditure

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 applies spending limits to stand-alone blogs such as the Huffington Post but not blogs produced by newspapers.

Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 contains an exemption so that the publication of articles relating to the election in newspapers and periodicals (other than advertisements) do not count towards controlled expenditure and are therefore not subject to spending limits.

The Government considers that online journalistic activity of a similar nature would be treated as falling within this exemption. In addition, only articles which “can reasonably be regarded as promoting the electoral success of parties or candidates” count as controlled expenditure.

This position has not been altered by the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.

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