Thank you for contacting me about proposed reform to the Electoral Commission.
I believe that the good functioning of our democracy depends on fair and transparent political campaigns. The Electoral Commission exists to run and regulate elections fairly but there is increasing concern that it is no longer operating effectively.
The Committee on Standards in Public Life, which advises the Prime Minister on ethical standards of conduct, believes that it is now time to review the work of the Electoral Commission. It will be focusing particularly on the Electoral Commission’s role in regulating donations and campaign expenditure by political parties.
Recent cases pursued by the Electoral Commission have highlighted concerns over its lack of accountability, strategy and leadership. Proposals such as a new regulatory policy statement could set out the Electoral Commission’s remit so that it is more clearly understood. The Electoral Commission should also take more guidance from the party-nominated Election Commissioners who can provide specific expertise.
Should the Electoral Commission fail to reform, the Government has indicated that the only option would be to abolish it. Its functions would be transferred to other governmental bodies and the police. This would ensure that elections are regulated impartially and that democracy is delivered in accordance with the law. I do not believe that Unlock Democracy's proposals would be effective or provide the change that is required. For these reasons, I will not support Unlock Democracy's campaign.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me
Sally-Ann Hart MP