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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Sections 56 and 57: Acceptance or return of donations

117.Upon receipt of a donation it will be incumbent upon the party to take all reasonable steps to identify the donor and determine whether the donor constitutes a permissible source (section 56(1)). This may require that the party makes some enquiries and it is perfectly possible that a donation will remain in a party’s account while those enquiries are carried out. The Act therefore distinguishes between the receipt and the acceptance of a donation and makes provision for a period of 30 days during which the status of the donation may be determined and appropriate action taken before the party is to be regarded as having accepted the donation. Sections 56(2) and 57(1) provide for the return of a donation to its source where that source is an impermissible donor or where it proves impossible to ascertain the donor’s identity. In the latter instance, if it is not possible to return the donation to its source, it is to be surrendered to the Electoral Commission for payment into the Consolidated Fund.

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