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Democratic Political Activity (Funding and Expenditure) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages

Published Monday, October 2, 2017

This House of Lords Library briefing has been prepared in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Democratic Political Activity (Funding and Expenditure) Bill [HL] on 27 October 2017.

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The Democratic Political Activity (Funding and Expenditure) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Tyler (Liberal Democrat). The Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 6 June 2016 and is scheduled to receive its second reading on 27 October 2017.

Setting out the purpose of the Bill, Lord Tyler stated:

This Bill is based on the cross-party draft published by Andrew Tyrie MP, Alan Whitehead MP and Lord Tyler in April 2003, and seeks to fulfil the objectives of the report on this subject by the Committee on Standards in Public Life published in November 2011. The current Bill updates previous proposals to reflect a series of manifesto commitments from all the main political parties to take the big money out of British politics, and takes account of the recommendations of the 2016 Select Committee on Trade Union Political Funds and Political Party Funding. It also reflects recent widespread concern about the adequacy of current constraints on both party donations and campaign spending.

The Bill comprises of 29 clauses and three schedules. It aims to regulate both the funding and expenditure of political parties. This includes making provisions for the phased introduction of a cap on donations to political parties. The Bill also seeks to introduce a limit on non-election expenses incurred by political parties. Further, the Bill outlines the functions of the Electoral Commission, an independent body which regulates political finance in the UK, in enforcing the Bill’s provisions. The provisions would apply to the whole of the United Kingdom.

Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0063

Author: Eren Waitzman

Topic: Political parties

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