Written evidence submission - APPG on Electoral Campaigning Transparency
Dear respondent,

As Chair and Vice-Chairs of the APPG on Electoral Campaigning Transparency, Stephen Kinnock MP, Ken Clarke MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Owen Smith MP, Jeremy Lefroy MP, Deirdre Brock MP, Wera Hobhouse MP and Lord Rennard are seeking your expertise for our inquiry into transparency, monitoring and deterrence of elections and campaigns.

This All-Party Parliamentary Group on Electoral Campaigning Transparency is about looking forward, not backward because we believe some things are bigger than Brexit. We want a better democracy for the next century - not just for the next few months. Thus, our work is not about - and will never be about - rehashing the outcome of the EU Referendum. We can all agree there was a great deal we learned about our democratic system not just from 2016 but also from the general elections of 2015 and 2017. It’s time to act on those lessons to safeguard our democracy.

Our membership includes MPs from all parties of this House because our scope of work is intentionally focused on common sense, cross-partisan areas of concern:

-Transparency: How we ensure citizens have access to information about both online and offline aspects of election campaigns;

-Deterrence: How we ensure the EC has the level of armoury needed to deter and, if necessary, penalise adequately;

-Monitoring: How we ensure there is a process to review whether campaigning laws are up-to-date and can be reformed immediately when needed.

We as members have a responsibility to guarantee that our democracy works properly. Ensuring public confidence in elections is the first step to restore the general public confidence in our institutions and political system that has been low for too much time now.

Fair Vote UK last year proposed “quick win” reforms to electoral campaigning transparency including:

-Giving the Election Commission more powers to punish and deter offenders;

-Reporting campaign spending online;

-Ending financial transfers between aligned campaigning groups;

-Strengthening digital campaigning laws.

This APPG will build on that work, taking evidence from a diverse range of experts, organisations and interested parties to drive real change before any other elections take place.
The time to repair our democracy is now. We look forward to receiving your submission.

Many thanks,

Stephen Kinnock MP, Chair of the APPG on behalf of all committee members


Please direct any questions to appg@fairvote.uk
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