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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Section 28 to 33 : Registration

82.Sections 28 to 33 re-enact, with modifications, sections 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6(1) to (4) of the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998. Together with Parts I and II of Schedule 4, they set out the procedure for applying for the registration of parties and of their emblems and for making changes to the register. Section 28 deals with the registration of parties. An application for registration will need to include a declaration which identifies that the party is seeking registration:


in both the Great Britain register and Northern Ireland register;


in the Great Britain register only;


in the Northern Ireland register only; or


in the Great Britain register only as a minor party.

A declaration within paragraphs (a), (b) or (d) must specify the part or parts of Great Britain in respect of which the party is seeking to be registered.

83.Subsection (4) of section 28 sets out the grounds on which the Commission may refuse an application for registration. The first such ground (section 28(4)(a)) is that the applicant party’s proposed registered name is, in the opinion of the Commission, either the same as that of a party which is already registered in the relevant register or likely to result in electors confusing that party with a party which is already registered in respect of the relevant part of the United Kingdom. If, for example, the Progressive Party was already registered in the Great Britain register but with its registration confined to England, the Commission would be obliged to refuse an application from another party seeking to be registered under the same name in any part of the Great Britain register, but could accept an application from a party applying to register in respect of Scotland alone as the ‘Scottish Progressive Party’.

84.Section 28(4)(f) provides for an application to be refused if the applicant party proposes a name which includes any word or expression prohibited by an order made by the Secretary of State (see the Registration of Political Parties (Prohibited Words and Expressions) Order 2001 (SI 2001/82)).

85.Sections 32(5) and 34(6), paragraph 1(2) and 8(2) of Schedule 4 and paragraph 11(2)(b) of Schedule 23 provide for the payment of fees in respect of an application for registration, an application to have a party’s registered entry altered or an annual confirmation by a party of its registered particulars. The level of fees is prescribed by the Registration of Political Parties (Fees) Order 2001 (SI 2001/83).

86.A party’s entry in the Great Britain or Northern Ireland register will now contain the following information:


the registered name of the party;


the address of the party’s headquarters;


the name of the party’s registered leader, registered nominating officer registered treasurer and, if applicable, registered campaigns officer. If one person holds all three (or, as the case may be, four) offices, the party must name the holder of some other specified office in the party.


where a party is a party with accounting units, the name and headquarters address of each accounting unit and the name of the treasurer and one other officer of each such unit;


the registered emblems of the party;


the name and office address of up to twelve deputy treasurers (or deputy campaigns officers) (see section 74);


the date of registration;


any other information prescribed by the Electoral Commission in accordance with paragraph 6 of Schedule 4.

In the case of the Great Britain register the register will also show whether the party is a minor party and the part or parts of Great Britain in respect of which the party is registered.

87.Section 31 requires the registered treasurer to notify the Commission of changes to the name or address of any of the party’s registered officers, the address of the party’s headquarters, the name of either of the registered officers of any accounting unit and the name and address of any accounting unit. Any change in the registered officers of the party must be notified within 14 days of the termination of the appointment (by death or otherwise) of the incumbent. All other changes must be notified to the Commission within 28 days of the change occurring. A party may apply for the other registered particulars of the party to be altered in accordance with the provisions of section 30.

88.Section 32 requires the registered treasurer of a party to provide the Electoral Commission with an annual notification that the particulars of a party’s entry in the register remain accurate and complete. The annual notification must also provide details of any changes to the party’s constitution. This must be provided with the annual statement of accounts (see section 45).

89.It is possible, under the provisions of section 33, for a party to apply to be removed from the register. But removal is conditional upon the party declaring that it does not intend to have any candidates at any relevant election, as defined by section 22(5), and there is the additional safeguard that a party (other than a minor party) which is removed from the register in accordance with this section will nevertheless remain subject to the requirements of Parts III and IV of the Act in relation to its accounts and donations until the end of the financial year following the removal of the party’s entry in the register.

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