Early yesterday the SKWAWKBOX revealed information from a UKIP source indicating that MP Kate Hoey’s explanation for the sum of £18,500 registered as a donation from Labour Leave (an independent limited company ‘borrowing‘ the Labour name, from here on ‘LL’) to UKIP – that it was a repayment of shared referendum spending – was not credible.
That article ended with this writer saying he would be contacting the Electoral Commission (EC) to get their assessment of the situation and Ms Hoey’s explanation. This was duly done.
This author was referred to the Working Together for EU Referendum Campaigners ‘Situations and Procedures’ document and advised that there is no provision in that document for cost-sharing to be treated, or reported, as a donation. Based on this information, Ms Hoey was peddling prime hogwash.
Also of interest was the fact that, as the EC pointed out, any joint campaign spending – as neither Labour Leave nor UKIP was the official ‘designated lead campaign group’ (which, for the leave side, was Vote Leave), any joint spending has to be counted in total toward the reported spending of both campaigns/parties.
In other words, if Labour Leave spent £18,500 each on campaigning, their spending reports must report £37,000 for that campaigning. If they campaigned with any other groups, the spending of that group must be added to the total and the total reported by all those groups toward their individual spending.
It seems to be clear that Ms Hoey’s explanation for the donation doesn’t hold water, as there is no provision for it in the regulations.
And if it was any form of shared spending, UKIP and Labour Leave – and any other groups involved – were obliged to report the total spent on the event as part of their individual campaign spending.
The SKWAWKBOX will be investigating further to see whether UKIP’s or Labour Leave’s spending reports include appropriate amounts.
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