Registration of Political Parties Act 1998

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1998 c. 48


Registration of Political Parties Act 1998

1998 Chapter 48

An Act to make provision about the registration of political parties.

[19th November 1998]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

The register of political parties

The register of political parties

S-1 The register.

1 The register.

(1) There shall be a register to be known as the register of political parties.

(2) The register shall be maintained by the registrar or other officer who performs the duty of registration of companies in England and Wales under the Companies Act 1985 .

Registration

Registration

S-2 Applications for registration.

2 Applications for registration.

(1) A party may apply for inclusion in the register by sending to the registrar—

(a) an application which complies with the requirements of Schedule 1, and

(b) a declaration that the party intends to have one or more candidates at a relevant election.

(2) The following elections are relevant for this purpose—

(a) parliamentary elections,

(b) elections to the European Parliament,

(c) elections to the Scottish Parliament,

(d) elections to the National Assembly for Wales,

(e) elections to the New Northern Ireland Assembly,

(f) local government elections, and

(g) local elections in Northern Ireland.

S-3 Grant of applications.

3 Grant of applications.

(1) The registrar shall grant an application by a party under section 2 unless in his opinion it proposes a registered name which—

(a) would be likely to result in the party's being confused by voters with a party which is already registered,

(b) comprises more than six words,

(c) is obscene or offensive,

(d) includes words the publication of which would be likely to amount to the commission of an offence,

(e) includes any script other than Roman script, or

(f) includes any word or expression prohibited by order made by the Secretary of State.

(2) An order under subsection (1)(f) may except the use of a word or expression from the prohibition in specified circumstances.

S-4 Entries in the register.

4 Entries in the register.

4. The registrar shall include in an entry in the register the particulars, apart from home addresses, given in the party's application in accordance with paragraphs 2 to 7 of Schedule 1.

S-5 Emblems.

5 Emblems.

(1) A party's application under section 2 may include a request for the registration of up to three emblems to be used by the party on ballot papers.

(2) The registrar shall grant a request under this section in relation to an emblem unless in his opinion it—

(a) would be likely to be confused by voters with an emblem which is already registered for another party,

(b) is obscene or offensive,

(c) is of such a character that its publication would be likely to amount to the commission of an offence, or

(d) includes a word or expression prohibited under section 3(1)(f).

(3) A registered emblem shall be a black and white representation of the emblem shown in the application.

Changing, confirming and removing registrations

Changing, confirming and removing registrations

S-6 Changes to the register.

6 Changes to the register.

(1) A party may apply to the registrar to have its entry in the register altered by—

(a) the amendment of any particular other than a registered name,

(b) the addition, substitution or removal of an emblem, or

(c) the addition of information prescribed under paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 since the party applied for registration.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the registrar shall grant an application under this section.

(3) The registrar shall refuse an application to add an emblem if—

(a) the party already has three registered emblems, or

(b) in the registrar's opinion, any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of section 5(2) apply to the emblem.

(4) The registrar shall refuse to substitute an emblem if in his opinion any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of section 5(2) apply to the new emblem.

(5) If as a result of an application under this section one person will be registered both as leader and as nominating officer, the application must request the addition of the name of the holder of some other specified office in the party.

(6) If an application under this section requests the substitution of the name of a leader, nominating officer or other officer, or an addition in accordance with subsection (5), the application must give the home address of the person whose name is to be substituted or added.

(7) An application under this section must be accompanied by any fee prescribed by order made by the Secretary of State.

S-7 Confirmation of registration.

7 Confirmation of registration.

(1) A party's registration shall lapse at the end of the period of three months beginning with any anniversary of its inclusion in the register unless the registered leader notifies the registrar that the party is to remain registered.

(2) A notice under subsection (1) must either—

(a) state that the particulars in the party's entry remain accurate and include any information prescribed under paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 since the party applied for registration, or

(b) include an application under section 6 as a result of which the party's entry will become accurate and will include any information prescribed under paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 since the party applied for registration.

(3) A notice under subsection (1) must—

(a) be in writing,

(b) be received by the registrar during the period beginning one month before the relevant anniversary and ending three months after it, and

(c) be accompanied by any fee prescribed by order made by the Secretary of State.

S-8 Removal of entries from the register.

8 Removal of entries from the register.

(1) The registrar shall remove a party's entry from the register if—

(a) it lapses under section 7, or

(b) the party applies to have its entry removed.

(2) Where a party's entry is removed from the register, the registrar shall, in considering applications made by other parties before or during the transitional period, treat the entry as still being in the register.

(3) The transitional period is the period of three months beginning with the day on which the entry is removed from the register.

S-9 Applications under section 6 or 8.

9 Applications under section 6 or 8.

(1) Subject to subsection (3), an application by a party under section 6 or 8 must be signed by its responsible officers.

(2) For the purposes of this section ‘the responsible officers’ are—

(a) the registered leader;

(b) the registered nominating officer;

(c) where the leader and the nominating officer are the same person, the other registered officer.

(3) If any responsible officer is unable to sign an application—

(a) the holder of some other office in the party may sign in his place, and

(b) the application must include a statement of the reason why the responsible officer is unable to sign and a declaration that the holder of the other office is authorised to sign in his place.

Speaker's Committee

Speaker's Committee

S-10 Speaker's committee.

10 Speaker's committee.

10. Before the registrar decides any question arising under section 3, 5, 6 or 18 he may seek advice from a committee of Members of the House of Commons appointed by the Speaker for the purpose.

Access to the register

Access to the register

S-11 General access.

11 General access.

(1) The Secretary of State shall make regulations requiring the registrar—

(a) to allow anyone to inspect the register, or any part of it, in such manner as the regulations may prescribe, and

(b) to provide copies of the register, or any part of it, on request.

(2) Regulations under this section may impose conditions, or enable the registrar to impose conditions, including conditions as to the payment of fees.

S-12 Request by Secretary of State.

12 Request by Secretary of State.

12. On receipt of a request by the Secretary of State the registrar shall send a copy of the register to—

(a) the Secretary of State

(b) any person specified in the request.

Effects of registration

Effects of registration

S-13 Parliamentary elections: nomination and ballotpapers.

13 Parliamentary elections: nomination and ballotpapers.

13. Schedule 2 (which amends the Parliamentary Elections Rules) shall...

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