11 February 2019
Andrew Bridgen speaks in debate on reform of election law

Speaking in a debate on the reform of election law, Andrew Bridgen highlights the situation where a candidate in an election could be liable under the law for spending on his behalf that he neither authorised, nor was even aware of.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con)

I wish to recap. Worryingly, a candidate in an election could be liable under the law for spending on his behalf that he neither authorised, nor was even aware of.

Craig Mackinlay

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, as he has encapsulated the issue in a few brief sentences. I will be expanding on that in the remainder of the debate.

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Andrew Bridgen

We are not accusing the Minister of any weaselly get-out, but she and the Electoral Commission have to understand that there will be no weaselly get-out for any of us if we find ourselves in this situation without clarity on election law. This is a very worrying situation.

Chloe Smith

I quite agree, and I hope that that has been clear from the words I have used and repeated tonight. It is in all our interests—I say that in the widest possible sense of the democracy of which we all have the privilege and honour of being part—that these rules are clear. I simply meant that I am not in a position to answer in detail the question asked by my right hon. Friend the Member for Forest of Dean (Mr Harper) about paragraph x, y or z of the code, because that information is available to the House from a different source, and the House should scrutinise that for itself.

Hansard