GENERAL ELECTION 2017 – REPORTING OF CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURE
In the forthcoming General Election, the campaigning activities of organisations and individuals are regulated by electoral law. As a ‘non-party campaigner’ there are strict rules on what we can spend on regulated campaign activity in the run-up to the election.
The rules apply to targeted spending where a ‘non-party campaigner’ engages in regulated campaign activity which meets two tests, the ‘purpose’ test and the ‘public’ test :-
The ‘purpose test’ – if the activity can reasonably be regarded as intended to influence voters to vote for or against one or more political parties; or particular candidates.
The ‘public test’ – if the activities are aimed at, seen or heard by, or involves the public, or a section of the public (CWU members would not be considered part of the public)
Further information can be obtained from the Electoral Commission’s document ‘Overview of regulated non-party campaigning’ (pages 6 and 7) accessed by the link below:-
We need to report to the Electoral Commission all the union’s expenditure that meet the tests above within the regulated election period which is between 9th June 2016 and 8th June 2017.
In order to comply, Branches must therefore tell us of any money spent campaigning on such issues as the Post Office Closure campaign, Anti-Austerity campaigns, and Defending Public Services Campaigns etc. Branches should assess against the tests any other activities between these dates and provide details of all expenditure for leaflets, goods, promotion materials, special leave payments and travel costs etc. We will need to itemise spend and provide invoices for all payments over £200.
The rules do not apply to spending by a union on communications with its own members even if this relates directly to the election or other activities such as encouraging our members to register to vote or apply for a postal vote. Nor do the rules apply to donations made by the CWU directly to the Labour Party at local, regional or national level. The Labour Party itself needs to declare these to the Electoral Commission.If branches are paying for the release of CWU representatives to help CLPs or Regional Labour Parties you should liaise locally to ensure that this resource is accounted for by the Party.
All Branches are required to complete the attached form. For your convenience this is in Excel spreadsheet format and ‘Microsoft Word’ version table.
The spreadsheet should be completed and returned to your Regional Secretary by Monday 26th June 2017.
Regional Secretaries will support branches in their adherence of the rules and the completion of this spreadsheet. If you have any questions or queries about the spending rules or those activities and items that need to be reported – then you should, in the first instance, contact your Regional Secretary for advice and guidance.
The Electoral Commission website contains further information on all matters relating to the General Election 2017 and this can be accessed through the link below.
Any queries relating to the contents of this LTB should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acting General Secretary
Email Attachments – Click to download
Attachment 1 – LTB 278/17 – General Election 2017
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