Removal of restrictions on pre-candidacy election expenses for certain general elections
22.—(1) The Representation of the People Act 1983 is amended as follows.
(2) Omit section 76ZA (which imposes restrictions on election expenses incurred by or on behalf of a candidate at a general election in certain circumstances).
(3) In section 76A(2), omit paragraph (e).
(4) In section 90ZA, for subsection (5) substitute—
“(5) In this Part of this Act, any reference to election expenses incurred by or on behalf of a candidate at an election includes expenses—
(a) which are incurred as mentioned in subsection (1) above before the date when he becomes a candidate at the election, but
(b) which by virtue of that subsection fall to be regarded as election expenses.”.
Clause 22 removes the extension to General Election individual candidate campaign expenditure, which was introduced by the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009. This is no longer needed because Clause 20 brings the General Election campaign period into line with those for European and local government elections, at four months. This change, alongside the annual non-election expense limits, recognises the reality of a continuous ‘peacetime’ spend throughout a Parliament and additional concentrated election spends in the four months preceding elections at all levels. .