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Representation of the People Act 1983

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106 False statements as to candidates.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person who, or any director of any body or association corporate which—

(a)before or during an election,

(b)for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at the election,

makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate’s personal character or conduct shall be guilty of an illegal practice, unless he can show that he had reasonable grounds for believing, and did believe, that statement to be true.

(2)A candidate shall not be liable nor shall his election be avoided for any illegal practice under subsection (1) above committed by his agent other than his election agent unless—

(a)it can be shown that the candidate or his election agent has authorised or consented to the committing of the illegal practice by the other agent or has paid for the circulation of the false statement constituting the illegal practice; or

(b)an election court find and report that the election of the candidate was procured or materially assisted in consequence of the making or publishing of such false statements.

(3)A person making or publishing any false statement of fact as mentioned above may be restrained by interim or perpetual injunction by the High Court or the county court from any repetition of that false statement or of a false statement of a similar character in relation to the candidate and, for the purpose of granting an interim injunction, prima facie proof of the falsity of the statement shall be sufficient.

F1(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5)Any person who, before or during an election, knowingly publishes a false statement of a candidate’s withdrawal at the election for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of another candidate shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(6)A candidate shall not be liable, nor shall his election be avoided, for any illegal practice under subsection (5) above committed by his agent other than his election agent.

(7)In the application of this section to an election where a candidate is not required to have an election agent, references to an election agent shall be omitted and the reference in subsection (6) above to an illegal practice committed by an agent of the candidate shall be taken as a reference to an illegal practice committed without the candidate’s knowledge and consent.

F2(8). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F3(9)Article 60 of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 (appeals from county courts) shall apply in relation to any order of a county court in Northern Ireland made by virtue of subsection (3) above as it applies in relation to any such decree of a county court as is mentioned in paragraph (1) of that Article.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F2S. 106(8) repealed (16.2.2001) by 2000 c. 41, ss. 138(1)(2), 158(2)(3), Sch. 18 para. 18(1)(d), Sch. 22 (with s. 156(6)); S.I. 2001/222, art. 2, Sch. 1 Pt. I Annex (subject to transitional provisions in Sch. 1 Pt. II)

F3S. 106(9) substituted (16.2.2001) by 2000 c. 41, s. 138(1)(2), Sch. 18 para. 18(4) (with s. 156(6)); S.I. 2001/222, art. 2, Sch. 1 Pt. I Annex (subject to transitional provisions in Sch. 1 Pt. II)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 106 applied (N.I.) by S.I. 1986/2250, regs. 2, 3, 5, Sch. 1 Pt. I

C3S. 106 applied (with modifications) (N.I.) (4.5.1996) by S.I. 1996/1220, art. 3(1)(5)-(8), Sch. 1

C4S. 106 applied (with modifications) (1.8.2001) by S.I. 2001/2599, art. 3, Sch. 1 (as substituted (10.2.2009) by S.I. 2009/256, arts. 1(2), 3, Sch. 1)

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