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Elections: Tower Hamlets

Question for Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission

UIN 6169, tabled on 8 July 2015

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, with reference to the Electoral Commission's Corporate Plan 2015-16 to 2019-20, HC106, published in June 2015, if his Committee will make an assessment of the criticism of the Electoral Commission made by Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC in his election court judgment of Erlam & Ors v Rahman & Anor [2015] EWHC 1215 (QB) in relation to the registration and finances of Tower Hamlets First.

Answered on

15 July 2015

The Electoral Commission informs me that it is satisfied that the documentation submitted to it in 2013 by ‘Tower Hamlets First’ met the statutory threshold requirements for registration of a political party. The Election Court judgement does not find otherwise. The barriers to registering as a political party are limited with the law requiring only certain specific criteria to be met before the Commission must add parties to the register.

Following the findings of the Court in April this year, the Commission promptly reviewed and removed the party's registration. In light of the comments made by Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC, the Commission has also indicated that it has reviewed its guidance and advice to applicants from new parties on a proposed party’s ‘Financial Scheme’ to further emphasise the responsibility of a registered party to have processes in place to meet their legal obligations. When the Committee considers the Electoral Commission’s Five Year Plain, it may consider whether any further steps are necessary.

Answered by

Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission