Political Parties: Finance

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 25th May 2022.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to ensure that funding of UK political parties does not come from foreign citizens.

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

UK electoral law sets out a stringent regime of donations controls that bans foreign donations. Individuals must be on the UK electoral roll to make political donations; in the case of companies, they must be UK-registered and properly carrying on business in the UK. There is only a very limited exception to this, whereby for political parties registered in Northern Ireland, permissible donors also include Irish sources provided they meet prescribed conditions. The Government is strengthening the corporate transparency regime, which will support the donations regime. The Elections Act 2022 further closes potential loopholes on foreign spending.

By contrast, the (Labour-led) Welsh Government and (SNP-led) Scottish Government have facilitated donations by foreign citizens in British politics, by extending the devolved franchise to all foreign nationals living in Wales and Scotland respectively.

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