Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill — Clause 28 — Regulated Expenditure by Third Parties in General Elections — 22 Jan 2014 at 16:58

The majority of MPs voted against limiting what counts as controlled expenditure by third parties in general elections to only expenditure on election materials and unsolicited phone calls.

Those MPs voting with the majority were increasing the restrictions on third party organisations (such as charities) who campaign during elections as they were voting not to strictly limit the types of expenditure which are regulated and capped.

MPs were considering the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill 2013-14[1].

The motion voted on was:

  • That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 26.

Explanatory notes to the Lords amendments have been produced[2] which concisely describe the effect of amendment 26 as being to:

  • require that only expenditure on material addressed or otherwise distributed to electors, or unsolicited telephone calls to households with a view to ascertaining voting intentions, are considered controlled expenditure for the purposes of constituency limits.

The notes though omit that the amendment includes phone calls with a view to influencing as well as ascertaining voting intentions.

The text of the rejected amendment 26 was[3]:

  • Page 16, leave out lines 10 to 23 and insert—
  • 2A(1) For the purposes of this Schedule “third party constituency expenditure” means controlled expenditure incurred by or on behalf of a third party in relation to—
  • (a) election material falling within paragraph 1 of Schedule 8A which is addressed to electors (whether addressed to them by name or intended for delivery to households or otherwise distributed within any particular constituency or constituencies), or
  • (b) unsolicited telephone calls falling within paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 8A, made to such electors or households which can reasonably be regarded as intended to ascertain or influence their voting intention, where the effects are wholly or substantially confined to any particular constituencies or constituency.
  • (2) Third party constituency expenditure -
  • (a) shall be attributed to those constituencies in equal proportions, or
  • (b) shall be attributed solely to that constituency,
  • as the case may be.
  • (3) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), the effects of third party constituency expenditure are wholly or substantially confined to any particular constituencies or constituency if—
  • (a) there is no significant effect in any other constituency or constituencies, and
  • (b) it can reasonably be inferred that the third party selected the relevant electors or households (or both) or otherwise distributed the material wholly or substantially to contact electors in the particular constituency or constituencies and not a wider section of the public.”

This section amends Clause 28 of the Bill titled "constituency limits"[4][5] which amends the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 provisions on controls relating to third party national election campaigns; and specifically how expenditure is attributed to different constituencies. The key addition is a definition of constituency expenditure as being only election material distributed in particular constituancies or unsolicited phone calls intended to ascertain or influence voting intentions.

During the debate Andrew Lansley MP (South Cambridgeshire, Conservative) stated[6] the amendment which was voted on"

  • would require that only the costs of election materials—whether they are addressed to households or otherwise distributed—and unsolicited telephone calls to households should count towards those constituency limits.

Mr Lansley argued:

  • As Members know very well, campaigning does not revolve around leafleting and cold calls. There are events such as press conferences and rallies; there is transport to bus supporters to an area, and there are the payments made to campaigners. All those are significant aspects of campaigning, and excluding the costs of such activities would undermine the effectiveness of the constituency limits.

A counter argument was put by Jim Shannon MP (Strangford, DUP) who stated[7]:

  • The amendment on constituency limits will rightly reduce the regulatory burden on charities and voluntary organisations campaigning in individual constituencies.

Mr Shannon quoted Mencap as saying[8]:

  • However, we are still concerned about the potential of the Bill to curtail legitimate campaigning by voluntary and community organisations. On a practical level we are concerned that staffing costs are still to be included in regulated expenditure and the rules around separate organisations working on joint campaigns are still unclear. We are most concerned about the subjective way in which the Bill aims to determine the intentions of a campaigning activity. Charities are already bound by charity law which prohibits party political campaigning. However, this Bill applies to campaigning by organisations which might influence elections—whether they intended to or not


Debate in Parliament | Source |

Public Whip is run as a free not-for-profit service. If you'd like to support us, please consider switching your (UK) electricity and/or gas to Octopus Energy or tip us via Ko-Fi.

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Alliance0 10100.0%
Con272 (+1 tell) 8092.1%
DUP0 5062.5%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent0 20100.0%
Lab0 239 (+2 tell)093.8%
LDem42 (+1 tell) 5085.7%
PC0 30100.0%
Respect0 10100.0%
SDLP0 30100.0%
SNP0 60100.0%
Total:314 274092.1%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Christopher ChopeChristchurchCon (front bench)no
Philip DaviesShipleyCon (front bench)no
David DavisHaltemprice and HowdenConno
Zac GoldsmithRichmond ParkCon (front bench)no
Charlotte LeslieBristol North WestCon (front bench)no
Anne MainSt AlbansCon (front bench)no
David NuttallBury NorthCon (front bench)no
Chris WhiteWarwick and LeamingtonCon (front bench)no
Andrew GeorgeSt IvesLDem (front bench)no
Greg MulhollandLeeds North WestLDem (front bench)no
Adrian SandersTorbayLDem (front bench)no
Mark WilliamsCeredigionLDem (front bench)no
Roger WilliamsBrecon and RadnorshireLDem (front bench)no

About the Project

The Public Whip is a not-for-profit, open source website created in 2003 by Francis Irving and Julian Todd and now run by Bairwell Ltd.

The Whip on the Web

Help keep PublicWhip alive