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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Section 110 and Schedule 12 : Assistance available to designated organisations

210.Section 110 and Schedule 12 confer certain benefits on designated umbrella organisations. Subsection (2) of section 110 provides that the Commission may award each designated organisation a grant of up to £600,000. This figure is broadly the equivalent at today’s prices of the £125,000 grant paid to each of the umbrella organisations in the 1975 referendum under the provisions of section 3 of the Referendum Act 1975. All umbrella organisations designated in connection with a particular referendum must receive the same level of grant. Such grants are intended to provide a designated campaign organisation with sufficient resources to mount an effective campaign. Subsection (3) enables the Commission to attach such conditions to a grant as they may determine. The conditions attached to the grants made to the umbrella groups in the 1975 referendum included a requirement that the grant be used only for purposes connected with the referendum; that the accounts were available for audit within two months of the date of the referendum; and that the accounts would be subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (Accounts of Campaigning Organisations, October 1975, Cmnd 6251). Subsection (4) and Schedule 12 confer benefits on designated referendum campaign organisations similar to those conferred on candidates and political parties at elections, namely:


the sending of a referendum address free to every household or elector;


the use of public rooms free of charge for holding public meetings; and


referendum campaign broadcasts. Under the terms of paragraph 4 of Schedule 12 the broadcasting authorities must, in determining their rules in respect of referendum broadcasts, have regard to any views expressed by the Electoral Commission.

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