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Elections and Referendums (Advertising) Bill

A Bill to amend the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 to improve transparency in respect of election and referendum material

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Explanatory notes to the Bill, prepared by the Member in charge of the Bill, Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve, are published separately as HL Bill 50—EN.

A

BILL

TO

Amend the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 to improve transparency in respect of election and referendum material.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Election or referendum advertising

(1) The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 143A, insert—

“Election or referendum advertising

143B Election or referendum advertising

(1) An advertiser of election or referendum material must within 24 hours of the advertisement appearing send to the Commission—

(a) a copy of the advertisement;

(b) details of how the advertisement is being distributed;

(c) any targeting settings used where the advertising platform allows for targeting based on demographic or other information about individuals; and

(d) any other information that the Commission may require.

(2) The Commission—

(a) may give directions as to the format in which this information must be provided;

(b) must make information provided under this section public without delay.

(3) In this section—

  • “advertisement” means an advertisement paid for from—

  • (a)

    campaign expenditure within the meaning of Part V (control of campaign expenditure);

    (b)

    controlled expenditure by third parties within the meaning of Part VI (controls relating to third party national election campaigns); or

    (c)

    referendum expenses within the meaning of Part VII (referendums);

  • “election material” has the same meaning as in section 143A of this Act (meaning of “election material”).

143C Attribution of advertising expenditure

(1) The Secretary of State must by regulations made by statutory instrument make provision about when expenditure on advertising of a specific description should be counted as campaign expenditure and when it should be counted as election expenses in relation to a candidate.

(2) Such regulations—

(a) must provide that advertising whose effects are wholly or substantially confined to individuals within an area in which a candidate is standing shall be counted as election expenses in relation to that candidate unless specified conditions are met; and

(b) may require any person to provide information to a candidate, a registered party, or the Commission for the purposes of enabling or monitoring compliance with arrangements under this section.

(3) Except where such regulations give effect to a recommendation of the Commission, the Secretary of State may only make such regulations after consultation with the Commission.

(4) In this section—

  • “campaign expenditure” has the meaning given in Part V of this Act (control of campaign expenditure);

  • “election expenses” in relation to a candidate has the meaning given in section 90ZA of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (meaning of “election expenses”);

  • “registered party” means a party registered under Part II of this Act (registration of political parties).”

2 Details to appear on election material

(1) Section 143 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (details to appear on election material) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (6) for “may” substitute “must”.

(3) After subsection (7)(b)(i) insert—

(ia) any such requirement may be satisfied by providing a hyperlink to a webpage clearly containing such details, or”.

(4) Section 110 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (details to appear on election publications) is amended as follows.

(5) In subsection (7) for “may” substitute “must”.

(6) After subsection (8)(b)(i) insert—

(ia) any such requirement may be satisfied by providing a hyperlink to a webpage clearly containing such details, or.”

3 Details to appear on referendum material

(1) Section 126 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (details to appear on referendum material) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (6) for “may” substitute “must”.

(3) After subsection (7)(b)(i) insert—

(ia) any such requirement may be satisfied by providing a hyperlink to a webpage clearly containing such details, or”.

4 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2) This Act comes into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which it is passed.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Elections and Referendums (Advertising) Act 2017.



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Sponsored by

Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve

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