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The Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2015

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Prohibition of expenses not authorised by election agent: constituency and individual regional candidates

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41.—(1) No expenses, with a view to promoting or procuring the election of a candidate for return as a constituency member or an individual candidate for return as a regional member at a Scottish parliamentary election, shall be incurred after the candidate becomes a candidate at such an election by any person other than the candidate or the candidate’s election agent and persons authorised in writing by the election agent on account—

(a)of holding public meetings or organising any public display;

(b)of issuing advertisements, circulars or publications;

(c)in the case of a constituency election, of otherwise presenting to the electors the candidate, or the views of the candidate or the extent or nature of that candidate’s backing or disparaging of another candidate; or

(d)in the case of a regional election, of otherwise presenting to the electors the candidate, or the views of the candidate or the extent or nature of that candidate’s backing or disparaging of another individual candidate or of a registered party or of any or all of its party list candidates.

(2) Neither sub-paragraph (c) nor sub-paragraph (d) of paragraph (1) restricts the publication of any matter relating to the election in—

(a)a newspaper or other periodical;

(b)a broadcast made by the British Broadcasting Corporation or by Sianel Pedwar Cymru; or

(c)a programme included in any service licensed under Part 1 or 3 of the Broadcasting Act 1990(1) (independent television and radio services) or Part 1 or 2 of the Broadcasting Act 1996(2) (digital terrestrial television and sound broadcasting).

(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply to any expenses incurred by any person—

(a)which do not exceed in the aggregate £500 (and are not incurred by that person as part of a concerted plan of action), or

(b)in travelling or in living away from home or similar personal expenses.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (3)(a), expenses shall be regarded as incurred by a person “as part of a concerted plan of action” if they are incurred by that person in pursuance of any plan or other arrangement whereby that person and one or more other persons are to incur, with a view to promoting or procuring the election of the same candidate, expenses which (disregarding paragraph (3)(a)) fall within paragraph (1).

(5) Where a person incurs any expense required by this article to be authorised by the election agent—

(a)that person shall within 21 days after the day on which the result of the election is declared deliver to the appropriate returning officer a return of the amount of those expenses stating the election at which and the candidate in whose support they were incurred; and

(b)the return shall be accompanied by a declaration made by that person (or in the case of an association or body of persons by a director, general manager, secretary or other similar officer of the association or body) verifying the return and giving particulars of the matters for which the expenses were incurred;

but this paragraph does not apply to any person engaged or employed for payment or promise of payment by a candidate or a candidate’s election agent.

(6) The return and declaration under the foregoing provisions of this article shall be respectively in the forms A and B set out in the Appendix and the authority received from the election agent shall be annexed to and deemed to be part of the return.

(7) If a person—

(a)incurs, or aids, abets, counsels or procures any other person to incur, any expenses in contravention of this article; or

(b)knowingly makes the declaration required by paragraph (5) falsely,

that person shall be guilty of a corrupt practice.

(8) If a person fails to deliver or send any declaration or return or a copy of it as required by this article that person shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(9) The court before whom a person is convicted under this article may, if it thinks it just in the special circumstances of the case, mitigate or entirely remit any incapacity imposed by virtue of section 173 of the 1983 Act (as applied by this Order)(3) (incapacities on conviction of corrupt or illegal practice).

(10) A candidate shall not be liable, nor shall the candidate’s election be avoided, for a corrupt or illegal practice under this article committed by an agent without the candidate’s consent or connivance.

(11) Where any act or omission of an association or body of persons, corporate or unincorporate, is an offence declared to be a corrupt or illegal practice by this article, any person (“P”) who at the time of the act or omission was a director, general manager, secretary or other similar officer of the association or body, or was purporting to act in any such capacity, shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence, unless P proves—

(a)that the act or omission took place without P’s consent or connivance; and

(b)that P exercised all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence as P ought to have exercised having regard to the nature of P’s functions in that capacity and to all the other circumstances.

(12) For the purposes of paragraph (1), expenditure incurred before the date when a person becomes a candidate at the election is to be treated as having been incurred after that date if it is incurred in connection with anything which is used or takes place after that date.

(13) The appropriate returning officer shall retain every document delivered in pursuance of paragraph (5).

(14) Rules 68 and 70(1) of the Scottish Parliamentary Election Rules apply to any document retained under this paragraph by a RRO as if the reference to a CRO is a reference to that RRO.

(3)

Section 173 is applied by article 82 of, and Schedule 6 to, this Order. Section 173 was substituted by the 2000 Political Parties Act, section 136 and was amended by S.I. 2007/931, article 2(4).

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