Home Office decides against national spending limits for Police and Crime Commissioner elections

The controversy over the Government’s view that there should be no freepost election addresses for Police and Crime Commissioner elections has caught the headlines so far, but there is something far worse in the details of the draft legislation. Put simply: having considered having national expenditure limits for the elections, the Conservative ministers in the Home Office have decided to have none.

There will be expense limits for individual candidates and their campaigns. However it is proposed that political parties and outside bodies (called ‘third parties’ in this context) will have no limits on how much they can spend on the elections nationally.  No limit, that is, except for how much cash they have to spend, something on which the Conservatives have a significant advantage over any other political party.

The draft regulations will require a simple yes/no vote in Parliament. That the proposals so slant the election rules in favour of the Conservatives may well tempt Labour peers, and indeed Lib Dem peers who do not like the idea of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners, to cause trouble.

Photo courtesy of BigStockPhoto.

* Mark Pack is Party President and is the editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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5 Comments

  • Surely, in the light of recent revelation about Tory fundraising practicies, it should be easier to get concessions on this?

    The ‘third parties’ provision seems particularly insidious, not least in the light of what’s been happening in the US.

  • As they moved the goalposts on the NHS Bill from the coalition agreement, surely this is an area where Lib Dem ministers can (and should)state that unless adequate controls are in place support will be withdrawn….

  • I think Steve is right on this. This proposals are so ill thought out. Almost as ill thought out as our parties response to them.

  • This is secondary legislation, however, which normally goes through on the nod as the primary legislation on these election has already been passed. Making an issue on this and holding up this legislation could cause major problems in the preparations for these election which have to happen as they are in law. I agree with your principal but you can’t hold up or block secondary legislation.

  • Leekliberal 29th Mar '12 - 6:58pm

    With no freepost election addresses and no limit on donations together with the £5000 deposit , it looks as though the Tories have made monkeys out of us. How did we let them get away with this?

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