Following Guido’s exclusive yesterday, the Electoral Commission put out a bland statement that they were “monitoring non-party campaigners“. Tory vice-chairman Paul Scully has now written to the Electoral Commission to raise their concerns about Momentum’s failure to register as a non-party campaigner for the upcoming election. In less than 12 hours, Momentum claimed they’ve already raised £100,000.
If a non-party campaigner intends to spend more than £20,000, the law requires that they should be registered with the Electoral Commission. Momentum have already been spending money over the last couple of months so could well have already committed a technical breach. The law clearly states that under Political Parties Elections Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) non-party campaigners are required to register with the Electoral Commission if they incur ‘controlled expenditure’ over a prescribed threshold during the ‘regulated period’ prior to an election. We are now in the regulated ‘long campaign’.
PPERA requires organisations to register with the Electoral Commission as a recognised party if they intend to spend more than £20,000 in England on ‘controlled expenditure’ during the ‘regulated period’ before an election. Guido has no doubt that Momentum are deliberately and intentionally flouting the law to avoid monitoring and transparency requirements. Moderate Labour MPs are convinced that Momentum would rather pay a £20,000 fine from the Electoral Commission then have it revealed that they are spending money to predominantly support their hard-left factional candidates…
UPDATE: The Electoral Commission say that Momentum have now submitted their non-party campaigner registration and they are reviewing it.
A non-party campaigner is a group that campaigns in the run up to elections but is not a political party and does not stand candidates. Non-party campaigners must register with us if they plan to spend more than £20k in England or £10k in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
— Electoral Commission (@ElectoralCommUK) October 31, 2019
Guido is intrigued to know how Momentum will keep within the legal spending limits when they plan to raise £200,000…