At 09:50 on October 30 Guido published a story pointing out that Momentum had already raised more money than allowed for non-party campaigners to spend on the general election without being registered with the Electoral Commission. Essentially being in non-compliance with the law. In 2017 the Electoral Commission levied the highest fine ever “on a non-party campaigner for not submitting a complete and accurate spending return during the 2017 election.”
They responded that this was a smear:
Emails obtained by Guido reveal our story that morning prompted panic at Momentum, making them scurry to make their application:
At 12:26 having now completed their online registration application they emailed the Electoral Commission plaintively asking them to confirm that they were now registered. At 16:19, having got no response, they again seek confirmation that their application – tendered only hours earlier – had been authorised. Bear in mind they had already started fundraising for the election…
As of last night, they are now aiming to raise a total of £300,000 and reckon they can get around the limits put on non-party campaigns:This is total nonsense. Momentum is brazenly flouting the rules – again – confident that they will merely have to pay fines afterwards. The Electoral Commission should go to court urgently and get an order to enforce the law. Any subsequent breach of the order would be a serious contempt of court and the consequences would be more than just a fine.