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ELECTIONS 2005: DONATIONS TO POLITICAL PARTIES PUBLISHED WEEKLY

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The first of five weekly reports detailing donations received by political parties during the general election camp...
The first of five weekly reports detailing donations received by political parties during the general election campaign is published today. Parties who receive donations in excess of£5,000 to their main party offices between 5 April (when the election was called) and polling day on 5 May must submit weekly donation returns to The Electoral Commission. Details can be found on the commission's website (www.electoralcommission.org.uk)

The timetable for weekly reports for the remainder of the election period is as follows:

PeriodReturn due byDonations will be published at 5pm on

05 - 11 April 2005Monday 18 April 2005Tuesday 19 April 2005

12 - 18 April2005Monday 25 April 2005Tuesday 26 April 2005

19 - 25 April 2005Tuesday 3 May 2005Tuesday 3 May 2005

26 April - 02 May 2005Monday 9 May 2005Tuesday 10 May 2005

03 - 05 May 2005Thursday 12 May 2005Friday 13 May 2005

Reported donations for the first week are:

Conservative & Unionist Party [The]£362,500(14donations)

Labour Party [The]£165,927(8 donations)

Liberal Democrats£25,000(2 donations)

Respect - The Unity Coalition£20,000(2 donations)

United Kingdom Independence Party£20,000(1 donation)

Notes

1.The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) requires registered political parties on the GB register that have not submitted a Declaration of Exemption to submit weekly donation reports to the commission during a general election campaign. These reports must include all donations over£5000 to main political party offices. A person commits an offence if they knowingly or recklessly make a false declaration with regard to the receipt of donations during a particular quarter.

2.Political parties who do not intend to contest the general election are required to submit a Declaration of Exemption and are thereby exempt from the requirement to submit weekly donation reports.

3.PPERA came into force on the 16 February 2001 and gives the commission authority to oversee new controls on donations to political parties. Parties may only accept donations of over£200 if they are deemed 'permissible' by PPERA. 'Permissible' donors includes individuals who are listed on the UK electoral register, or companies which are UK registered and carrying out business in the UK. Parties on the Northern Ireland register of political parties are exempt from the donation controls until February 2007.

4.Failure to submit donations reports can have serious implications:

a.Failure to submit a return in time: a civil offence is committed by the party (s.147(2)) and a criminal offence by the treasurer (s.65(3)).

b.Failure to submit a return that meets the requirements of the PPERA: a criminal offence by the treasurer (s.65(4)).

c.Making a false declaration on a return: criminal offence by the treasurer (s.66(5)).

5.The Electoral Commission is an independent body established by UK Parliament. It aims to ensure public confidence and participation in the democratic process within the United Kingdom through modernisation of the electoral process, promotion of public awareness of electoral matters, and regulation of political parties.

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