Thursday, June 02, 2016

Election Expenses

All parties should obey the law on election expenses and should co-operate fully with the authorities if they are investigating any suggestions to the contrary.

Over the past few weeks there have been reports that the Electoral Commission and several police forces are investigating aspects of the Conservative General Election campaign for possible overspending during the 2015 general election. There have also been reports of investigations into possible failures to comply with the rules - mostly involving allegations which appear to fairly similar to those apparently made against the Conservatives - involving several other political parties including Labour, the Lib/Dems and the SNP.

It is not acceptable that any major party should get this wrong. If  - and I repeat, if, no charges have been brought yet, and nobody has been proved to have acted wrongly - any of the investigations should establish that such reports are true, and if any political party is found to have acted wrongly, then no excuses should be made.

It is also important that the rules should be clear and transparent. If several parties have got them wrong there may be a case for an independent review of the spending rules to check that they are fair, reasonable, as simple as possible, clear, transparent and worded in such a way. that whether they have been kept is a matter of objective fact capable of only a single interpretation.

No comments: