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Recall of MPs Act 2015

Schedule 5: Recall petition returns

102.Schedule 5 sets out the rules regarding recall petition returns for accredited campaigners which detail their expenditure and donations.

103.The return must contain a statement in relation to payments made in respect of petition expenses incurred by the accredited campaigner during the recall petition period (and any outstanding or disputed claims) – and if there were no such payments (or claims), a statement is required to that effect (paragraph 2(1)). Evidence of payments of £20 or over must be provided with the return (paragraph 2(3)(a)). The responsible person must also make declarations about petition expenses that the accredited campaigner is deemed to have incurred during the recall petition period under the acting in concert and notional expenses provisions in paragraphs 4 and 6 of Schedule 3 (paragraph 2(3)(b) and (c)). Payments (or claims) in respect of petition expenses that the accredited campaigner incurs during the recall petition period, but before accreditation, are not included in the statement of payments and claims (because they may not have kept full records of these), albeit these expenses should be included in a separate declaration accompanying the return (paragraph 2(2), (3)(d) and (4)).

104.Paragraphs 3 and 4 prescribe what information the recall petition return must contain about relevant donations received by an accredited campaigner. These obligations do not apply to accredited campaigners who are registered parties that are not minor parties as these are regulated by Part 4 of PPERA (paragraph 1(3)). Information about each donation that the accredited campaigner accepts or returns must be recorded in the return.

105.The return must also be accompanied by a declaration, signed by the responsible person, regarding compliance with the spending and donation rules. This obligation does not apply to accredited campaigners who are registered parties that are not minor parties (paragraph 5(3)).

106.Paragraph 6 requires the return, together with the supporting documents, to be delivered to the petition officer within 30 days of the end of the recall petition period.

107.Paragraph 7 creates offences relating to the failure to comply (without reasonable excuse) with the provisions relating to the delivery of all of the relevant statements, documentation and declarations or the provision of false information.

108.The petition officer is made responsible for providing relevant documentation relating to the return to the Electoral Commission as soon as reasonably practicable after receipt, as well as making the return and accompanying documentation available for inspection (paragraphs 8 and 9 set out the process for this). The Minister may, by regulations, set a fee to be paid by persons other than the Electoral Commission seeking copies of the return and accompanying documentation. It is intended that this fee will be set at a level that recovers the cost of providing the copies and no more.

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