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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Section 126 : Details to appear on referendum material

222.To help the Electoral Commission identify who is behind referendum publications, and therefore who has incurred referendum expenses, section 126 requires material relating to a referendum which is published during a referendum period to include certain specified information. Subsections (2) to (5) are concerned with printed material such as leaflets, posters and newspaper advertisements. Subsection (2) specifies the relevant details that must be included in a printed document, namely the name and address of the printer, promoter and any person on behalf of whom the material is published (and who is not the promoter). The “promoter” is defined in subsection (11) as the person causing the material to be published. This may be, for example, the agent of a permitted participant, if not the permitted participant itself. Where the “promoter” is not the permitted participant, that individual or organisation will instead be “the person on behalf of whom the material is published”. Subsection (3) is concerned with a single-sided document such as a poster. Subsection (4) is concerned with advertisements in newspapers or periodicals. Subsections (6) and (7) are concerned with material published in a non-printed format, for example on the internet or in the form of a video. To take account of changes in technology it is left to subordinate legislation to prescribe the manner and form which the promoter’s details are to appear on the material. The regulation-making power may only be exercised after consultation with the Commission. Subsections (8) to (10) create offences and provide for a defence where a contravention of the requirements took place in circumstances beyond a person’s control (for example, where the agent of a permitted participant supplied to a newspaper the text of an advertisement which included the relevant details, but owing to an error by the newspaper publisher these details did not appear in the advertisement as printed).

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