#ElectionExpenses response: Empower the Electoral Commission to stop money buying elections

#ElectionExpenses response: Empower the Electoral Commission to stop money buying elections

After a 13 month long investigation into election campaign expenses the Electoral Commission today handed down the highest fine in its history of £70,000 to the Conservative Party, for violation of electoral law. Unlock Democracy has called for the Electoral Commission to be empowered so it can stop parties from buying elections. 

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Unlock Democracy welcomes high court Brexit ruling

Welcoming the divisional court’s judgement, Director of Unlock Democracy Alexandra Runswick said:

“The government’s position that it could run roughshod over parliamentary sovereignty by invoking the dictatorial powers of Henry VIII always was untenable in the 21st century.  The correct course of action now would be for Theresa May to accept this judgement and move on to holding a full and open debate in the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity.

“We acknowledge that there is a disparity between the views of MPs and the public, but without a proportional voting system, the only course of action is to trust MPs to take the views of their constituents into consideration when deciding how to vote. No doubt MPs are acutely aware that they are ultimately accountable to their constituents, who will be given the final say.

“What is clearly unacceptable is for the Brexit process to continue as it has been over the past few months with virtually no parliamentary or public scrutiny. The government needs to open up, both in terms of their own preparations and which special interests have been lobbying them on this issue behind closed doors.”

Unlock Democracy has been organising a petition demanding that government gives parliament a say in the Brexit negotiations. So far, over 9,000 people have signed it.

New lobbying register law to be debated in House of Lords

New lobbying register law to be debated in House of Lords

A new law which would replace the lobbying register introduced in 2014 will be debated in the House of Lords this Friday (9 September 2016). The Private Members Bill, to be introduced by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, would provide greater transparency over professional organisations seeking to influence UK politicians.

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It's Brexit: now let's take control of democracy at home

It's Brexit: now let's take control of democracy at home

Commenting on the EU referendum result, Alexandra Runswick, Director of Unlock Democracy, said:

“The referendum campaign showed British politics at its worst. Both campaigns have relied on misinformation to paint increasingly apocalyptic images of a post-referendum Britain. Politicians on both sides must now work together to rebuild public trust in our political system.

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Splitting the Bill: Lords to look again at big donors

Splitting the Bill: Lords to look again at big donors

The Trade Union Bill’s one-sided changes to party funding are finally getting some of the scrutiny they need. On Wednesday, the House of Lords struck a small blow by voting to set up a cross-party Select Committee to consider the Bill’s impact and what other reforms are needed to clean up party funding in the UK. 

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How can the Liverpool city region deal be democratically accountable?

How can the Liverpool city region deal be democratically accountable?

While cautiously welcoming the Liverpool City Region Devolution Agreement, Unlock Democracy Merseyside & West Cheshire agreed that the current arrangement should only be a precursor to a stronger devolution package provided that it moves towards more open and accountable strategic political leadership. It was a promising start but with regard to scrutiny there was still a long way to go. We strongly regret that there has been no public consultation nor consideration of alternative governance arrangements.

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