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Session 1997-98
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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Registration of Political Parties Bill





Make provision about the registration of political parties.

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.     1. - (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.
Applications for registration.     2. - (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.
Grant of applications.     3. - (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.
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.
Emblems.     5. - (1) A party's application under section 2 may include a request for the registration of an emblem to be used by the party on ballot papers.
      (2) The registrar shall grant a request under this section unless in his opinion the emblem-
    (a) would be likely to be confused by voters with an emblem which is already registered,
    (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.
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