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Representation of the People Act 1983

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106 False statements as to candidates. U.K.

(1)A person who, or any director of any body or association corporate which—

(a)before or during an election,

(b)for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at the election,

makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate’s personal character or conduct shall be guilty of an illegal practice, unless he can show that he had reasonable grounds for believing, and did believe, that statement to be true.

(2)A candidate shall not be liable nor shall his election be avoided for any illegal practice under subsection (1) above committed by his agent other than his election agent unless—

(a)it can be shown that the candidate or his election agent has authorised or consented to the committing of the illegal practice by the other agent or has paid for the circulation of the false statement constituting the illegal practice; or

(b)an election court find and report that the election of the candidate was procured or materially assisted in consequence of the making or publishing of such false statements.

(3)A person making or publishing any false statement of fact as mentioned above may be restrained by interim or perpetual injunction by the High Court or the county court from any repetition of that false statement or of a false statement of a similar character in relation to the candidate and, for the purpose of granting an interim injunction, prima facie proof of the falsity of the statement shall be sufficient.

(4)

F1(5)Any person who, before or during an election, knowingly publishes a false statement of a candidate’s withdrawal at the election for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of another candidate shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(6)A candidate shall not be liable, nor shall his election be avoided, for any illegal practice under subsection (5) above committed by his agent other than his election agent.

(7)In the application of this section to an election where a candidate is not required to have an election agent, references to an election agent shall be omitted and the reference in subsection (6) above to an illegal practice committed by an agent of the candidate shall be taken as a reference to an illegal practice committed without the candidate’s knowledge and consent.

(8)Except in Scotland, the jurisdiction vested by subsection (3) above in the High Court in matters relating to parliamentary elections shall, subject to rules of court, be exercised by—

(a)one of the judges for the time being on the rota for the trial of parliamentary election petitions,

(b)in Northern Ireland, one of the judges of the High Court or the Court of Appeal for the time being selected under section 108 of the M1Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978,

sitting either in court or at chambers, or by a master of the Supreme Court in manner directed by and subject to an appeal to those judges.

(9)The jurisdiction vested by subsection (3) in a county court may, except in Northern Ireland, be exercised otherwise than in open court, and, in Northern Ireland, shall be exercised in accordance with rules of court.

An appeal lies to the High Court from any order of a county court made by virtue of subsection (3).

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 106 applied (N.I.) by S.I. 1986/2250, regs. 2, 3, 5, Sch. 1 Pt. I

C3S. 106 applied (with modifications) (N.I.) (4.5.1996) by S.I. 1996/1220, art. 3(1)(5)-(8), Sch. 1

Marginal Citations

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