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Recall of MPs Act 2015

Section 12: Double signing

60.Section 12 makes it an offence for a person (“P”) to sign the recall petition more than once otherwise than by proxy (subsection (1)) or to sign in person or by post knowing someone else appointed as P’s proxy has already signed the petition in person as P’s proxy or is entitled to sign the petition by post as P’s proxy (subsection (2)). A person who signs the petition as a proxy commits an offence if he or she signs more than once for the same person (subsection (3)) or if he or she signs as a proxy for another person knowing that other person has already signed the petition in person or by post (subsection (4)). This mirrors existing offences which apply to double-voting at elections.

61.Subsection (5) provides that an offence under the section is to be treated as an illegal practice or offence for specified provisions of the RPA 1983 and the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 with the result that:

(i)

a person guilty of the offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (subsection (5)(a));

(ii)

a person convicted of the offence is incapable for a period of three years of being registered as an elector or voting in parliamentary elections and local government elections in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, being an MP or holding a local government elective office in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (subsection (5)(b) and (d));

(iii)

proceedings may be taken in respect of offences alleged to have been committed under this section outside the United Kingdom by a Commonwealth citizen (including British citizens) or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland (subsection (5)(c)).

62.Subsection (6) provides that the court that convicts a person of an offence under this section need not impose any of the incapacities listed above, or may impose lesser incapacities in their place, if the court thinks it is just to do so because of the special circumstances of the case.

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