Electoral Commission concludes investigations into four political parties

19 Sep 2023 01:14 PM

Investigations into four political parties have closed over the last month, with the Electoral Commission imposing fines in each case.

Investigations where offences were found:

Who we investigated What we investigated What we found Outcome
Breakthrough Party (political party) Late reporting of two donations Offences found Two fines of £200 each Fines have been paid
Conservative and Unionist Party (political party) Late reporting of four donations Offences found

Three fines of £200 each

Fines have been paid

Liberal Democrats (political party)

Late reporting of 21 donations

Failure to report two new loans and four changes to existing loans by due date

Late reporting of one donation

Offences found Thirteen fines totalling £3,300
Fines have been paid
Social Democratic and Labour Party (political party) Late reporting of one donation Offences found
£1,000 fine
Payment due by 6 October 2023

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation and Digital Transformation, said: 

"Our investigations found that a number of donations were reported late by parties. In some cases, the lateness was significant and so were the amounts donated. Where we find offences, we carefully consider the circumstances in deciding whether to impose a sanction and if so, the level of that penalty. We take into account proportionality and a range of factors before making our final decision.

“The timely and accurate publication of parties' donations and loans is vital to ensuring voters have transparency over how much money parties are raising. The political finance laws we enforce are there to ensure this transparency. The laws are clear, so it is always disappointing when they are not met..”

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
         •    enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible.
         •    regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches.
         •    using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency.
    The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK, Welsh and Scottish parliaments.
  2. This release forms part of the Commission’s regular monthly investigations update, an important part of its commitment to deliver transparency in political finance in the UK. Information of this nature is published routinely on the third Tuesday of each month. Details for sanctions from previous months are available.
  3. Penalties imposed by the Commission go into the Consolidated Fund. This is managed by HM Treasury and not the Electoral Commission.