Elections: Internet

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to respond to the findings of the Electoral Reform Society's report, Democracy in the Dark: Digital Campaigning in the 2019 General Election and Beyond, published on 24 September, and in particular, the finding that online campaigning spend and non-party campaigning activity increased significantly, although in an undocumented manner, during the 2019 general election campaign.

Photo of Lord True Lord True Chair, Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Government is taking forward a programme of work that will strengthen and update the UK’s electoral regulation to ensure it is fit for the modern age; provides a robust framework for campaign finance; and supports public confidence in our processes.

Political parties, registered third parties and candidates are already required to report expenses that qualify as electoral expenditure and this includes digital campaigning. We have launched a consultation on digital imprints which will require political parties, campaigners and others to clearly show who they are when promoting campaign content online.

Across all of this work the intention is to improve transparency to ensure voters can make informed choices, and to enforce spending rules.

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