Electoral Commission imposes record fine on Labour for inaccurate donations report

Posted On: 
15th January 2019

The Electoral Commission has imposed a record fine on Labour for failing to provide an accurate account of its donations.

The fine is the largest levied against a political party for the offence

The elections watchdog levied the mammoth £12,000 on the party after it produced an inaccurate quarterly report of cash handed over by donors.

The party was fined a further £500 for not delivering accurate weekly pre-poll reports ahead of the 2017 General Election.

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A Labour Party source confirmed the fine had been paid in full and that the error had resulted due to an inadvertent duplication of reported donations.

They added that there was no suggestion of a deliberate attempt to conceal donations.

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulations at the Electoral Commission, said: “The sanction we have imposed on the Labour Party for an inaccuate donations report is the highest fine we have issued for an offence of this kind. As a well-funded political party it should be able to meet its legal requirements.”

The latest figures also reveal that a Conservative Party branch in High Peak was hit with a £200 fine for failing to return an impermissible donation within 30 days of receipt.

It was also required to forfeit the entirety of the £1000 donation.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats was forced to stump up a £200 fixed penalty in December as a result of its failure to deliver an accurate donation report.

Ms Edwards added: “The reporting requirements are clear, so it is always disappointing when parties and campaigners fail to comply. The law clearly states when and how financial data is required to be submitted to the Commission.

“We will continue to enforce these requirements on all parties and campaigners to ensure voters have the information they need.”

A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: "This was a genuine administrative error. Labour adheres to all Electoral Commission rules on the publication of donations to the party."