Advice for Parties on GE compliance

For attention of:
31st October 2019
Last updated:
31st October 2019
30th September 2020
Other formats:

As you are aware, there are strict rules regulating election spending by and donations to political parties and candidates during an election campaign.  Please read this guide carefully and contact Karen Wilkie on 07930 415488 or if you are not sure about anything.

Can a local Co-operative Party or branch make a donation to a candidate?

If you make a donation to a candidate, they will report it to the Electoral Commission and you don’t have to inform us.  However, we would much prefer you to direct all resources to the Co-operative Party’s election campaign, so that we can allocate them where they are most needed towards getting our Labour and Co-operative Party candidates elected.

What other spending do we need to report?

Some things that your local Party or Branch does to promote the Co-operative Party could count towards our national campaign spend and will need to be reported by us centrally.  For example, if you hold an event that is open to non-members or produce local materials promoting the Party.  If you are using materials purchased from or sent to you from Head Office these don’t need to be reported to us as we will already have accounted for them but if you are printing our materials locally, these will.  Please check with Karen if you are not sure.

Please note we have to report everything relevant to Party campaign spend for the full year between 13 December 2018 and polling day, not just during the five week ‘short campaign’, so please check back over the year and ensure that you keep receipts for everything over £200.

If you do anything to promote a named candidate, this will count instead towards candidate spend and will need to be declared by them as a donation and as election spend.  Please check with the candidate or agent first, because they need to authorise any spending by third parties in case it pushes them over their spending limit.

What to do if your local party or branch receives a donation

If you receive a donation over £500, contact Karen Wilkie straight away with details of the amount, date received and the name and address of the donor.  We will check if the donation is permissible (e.g. from someone who is on the electoral register) and report the donation to the Electoral Commission.   During the election period, we have to report all donations weekly so you must notify us straight away so that we can do the permissibility check and report the donation within the deadline.  If the donation is £500 or less, record as usual in your accounts but we do not need to report it.

Can we accept anonymous donations?

If you receive a donation over £500, you must pass on the donor’s name and full address to Karen Wilkie.  If we can’t verify that the donor is on the Electoral Register, we can’t accept the donation and must either return it or give it to the Electoral Commission.

Using an imprint

Anything that you produce in the Party’s name must have an imprint so that it can be traced, for example Promoted by Joe Fortune on behalf of the Co-operative Party, both at Unit 13, 83 Crampton Street, London SE17 3BQ.  If it is printed material it must also have the name & address of the printer.