Party funding: have your say

NOW'S your chance to let it be known if you support state funding of political parties.An independent review was launched today on a website asking voters for their views.

By Graham Dines

NOW'S your chance to let it be known if you support state funding of political parties.

An independent review was launched today on a website asking voters for their views.

Former senior civil servant Sir Hayden Phillips has been commissioned to carry out the review last month by Tony Blair in the wake of allegations that peerages were offered in return for loans to Labour, which are the subject of a police investigation and two parliamentary inquiries.

Sir Hayden's review, to report by the end of the year, will not look into the honours question, but will recommend changes to the way political parties raise cash. He will consider whether state funding to the parties should be increased, whether a cap should be put on individual or corporate donations and whether spending limits at elections should be reduced below the current £20 million.

Sir Hayden said today: “The point of having a website is to hear the public's views, in addition to the views of the political parties. It would be extremely useful for me to hear from as many people as possible. I need the public's input into this review.

Most Read

“Others too will be gathering information and expressing their views, - for example the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee and the Electoral Commission. I will take careful account of what they say.”

Sir Hayden starts from three assumptions:

That the financial health of political parties is fundamental to the UK's parliamentary democracy;

That party funding should be fully transparent;

And that a future system should encourage democratic engagement and be as fair as is possible between parties.

“This is an opportunity to find an agreed way forward on an issue that is central to parliamentary democracy in this country,”' he said.

Members of the public can find out more about the review and register their opinions at the website www.partyfundingreview.gov.uk.

Political Party funding Review website

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter