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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Section 52 : Payments, services etc. not to be regarded as donations

110.Section 52 specifies those payments or services to a party which are not to be regarded as a “donation”. Any donation whose value is £200 or less is to be disregarded (subsection (2)(b)). Also to be disregarded are policy development grants made to parties (under the provisions of section 12) and grants for security costs at party conferences. In addition, the definition of “donation” excludes the notional benefit to parties of air time for political party broadcasts, the use of public rooms at elections and the distribution of election addresses to electors, all of which facilities are provided free of charge. The definition also excludes the provision by an individual of his own services provided these are provided freely and in his own time (subsection (1)(g)). It is not intended that, for example, a voluntary officer of the party should be regarded as making a donation if, in their own time, they contribute professional services (such as accountancy) within their personal sphere of expertise. However, services provided free of charge by an individual who was nevertheless paid by his employer while providing those services will fall within section 50(2)(f) and thus count as a donation by the employer.

111.Subsection (2)(a) also excludes donations made for the purpose of meeting a candidate’s election expenses (which will continue to be the subject of a separate statutory return under the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1983, as augmented by section 130 and Schedule 16, and other enactments relating to elections).

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