Momentum fined by Electoral Commission for multiple breaches of electoral law

6 Mar 2019 02:16 PM

Momentum has been fined a total of £16,700 by the Electoral Commission, the political finance regulator, for multiple breaches of electoral law. The fines concern an inaccurate 2017 general election spending return and failures to report donations accepted as a ‘members association’ outside of an election period.

This includes the highest fine levied on a non-party campaigner for not submitting a complete and accurate spending return to the Electoral Commission. This is the first time that Momentum has been investigated. In order to meet their legal reporting obligations in future, they must ensure they have the right staff and processes in place.

Offences relating to the 2017 general election spending return

Momentum registered as a non-party campaigner ahead of the 2017 general election – as was required for any individual or organisation intending to spend more than the registration threshold for campaigning. It subsequently submitted a spending return to the Commission in September 2017. A number of issues were identified with the return and the Commission launched an investigation in November 2017.

We have now concluded that Momentum:

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation at the Electoral Commission, yesterday said:

“Non-party campaigners are essential for a healthy democracy. But just as crucial is that after a poll, voters can see complete and accurate spending data. The fines that we have levied reflect Momentum’s repeated revisions to their spending return, poor record keeping and failure to follow advice given by the Commission prior to the election.”

Offences as a members association

Momentum was, and is, a members association as defined by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000. This requires it to report any donations above £7,500 to the Electoral Commission within 30 days of acceptance.

During the course of our investigation into Momentum’s general election spending return, the Commission has concluded that:

Commenting on Momentum’s legal obligations, Louise Edwards added:

“Non-party campaigners that seek to persuade people to vote a certain way rightly have legal obligations; it is incumbent on them to invest properly in having the right processes and staff to meet their obligations. Momentum is unlike most non-party campaigners in that political campaigning is its full-time work, so it is particularly disappointing that they have failed to meet the law’s requirements.”

The Commission’s report on its investigation into Momentum is available on our website.

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

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:

The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

  1. An individual or organisation that is issued with a sanction by the Electoral Commission has 28 days to appeal that decision. Any such appeal is made to the County Court.
  2. Unpaid fines will increase by 50% if not paid within 56 days of being imposed. After a further 28 days we may take action to obtain payment through the courts using the debt recovery process.
  3. Breaches of the political finance rules are considered in line with the Commission’s Enforcement Policy.
  4. Penalties imposed by the Commission go into the Consolidated Fund. This is managed by HM Treasury and not the Electoral Commission.
  5. Any non-party campaigner that intended to spend £20,000 in England or £10,000 in any of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland on regulated campaign activity during the 2017 UK Parliamentary General Election regulated period (9 June 2016 – 8 June 2017) was required to register with the Electoral Commission and follow the rules on campaigning as set out in legislation.