Appendix F: Responses to statutory consultations
with the party leaders |
(a) From Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP, leader
of the Conservative Party
Thank you for your letter of 5th March, regarding
the Party nominees as Commissioners on the Board of the Electoral
Commission, as provided for in the Political Parties and Elections
I am content for a motion to be made in the House
of Commons to the effect that an Address be presented to Her Majesty
the Queen seeking the appointment of the four persons named in
the your letter as Electoral Commissioners for the standard term
of four years.
I have also noted and am content with the proposal
by the panel that reviewed the nominations and the Speaker's Committee
that the Electoral Commissioner put forward by the smaller parties
hold office for a two-year term, rather than the standard term
of four years.
11th March 2010
(b) From Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MP, leader
of the Scottish National Party
Many thanks for your letter of 5th March 2010
updating me on the progress in appointment of nominated Electoral
Commissioners as provided for in the Political Parties and Elections
It is excellent news that the appointment panel
have had the opportunity to consider a wide range of candidates
and that their unanimous recommendation for the four nominees
includes George Reid.
I acknowledge that you intend to agree to a motion
being made in the House of Commons that all four be appointed
as nominated Electoral Commissioners and that PPERA 2000 requires
you to consult with me as leader of the Scottish National Party
in this regard.
Thank you for the consideration of the panel and
the Speakers Committee that the fourth party-nominated post should
be a two year term, with the possibility of reappointment. In
the absence of discussions and agreement between nominating parties
on the merits of a fixed two or four year post, the outcome of
a policy that provides for rotation, but would not require it,
seems eminently sensible.
12 March 2010
(c) From Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP, leader of
the Liberal Democrats
Thank you very much for your letter of 5 March
regarding the Speaker's Committee's decisions on nominees for
the Electoral Commission.
I'm pleased to note that the Committee has accepted
David Howarth's nomination as an Electoral Commissioner and am,
of course, happy to support that decision.
I also note the recommendations of the Speaker's
Committee and the panel which reviewed nominations on the representation
of smaller parties. The Liberal Democrats are happy to accept
your view on this matter.
23 March 2010
(d) From Angus Robertson MP, Scottish National
Alex Salmond has asked me to respond to your letter
of 31 March 2010 and on behalf of the Scottish National Party
to raise concern about the proposal to recommend the appointment
of Roy Kennedy.
As you will be aware, and as the appointed panel
no doubt considered, Mr Kennedy was Director of Finance and Compliance
for the Labour Party at the time of the David Abrahams scandal.
In this matter, the Electoral Commission concluded that there
was evidence that an offence may have been committed [Electoral
Commission press release, 7 May 2009] and referred the matter
to the police. The CPS did, of course, conclude that the donation
reports in question incorrectly identified the donor but there
was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with any offences.
Given the identified failures in compliance, I would be concerned
about the subsequent impact to public confidence in the democratic
process and integrity of the Commission if Mr Kennedy were to
be appointed as Commissioner.
Further, given that Mr Kennedy is intent on continuing
in his Labour Party role until the appointment is made, this opens
up a risk if further compliance issues affecting the Labour Party
were to arise during the period while he is a nominee. I would
obviously be keen to know what, if any, system is in place for
recall, or re-interview, if Mr Kennedy were to in any way be implicated
in any other party funding issues over the coming months.
As previously intimated in Mr Salmond's response,
I am content with the other three nominees.
One final observation, the work of the Commission
over the next six months or so will have some focus on the lessons
in terms of financial transparency and electoral administration
to be learned from the forthcoming General Election. It is difficult
to see how the Commission can properly undertake this task when
one of its members will have played such a central role in the
campaign by one of the parties.
8 April 2010
(e) From Ieuan Wyn Jones AC/AM, leader of
I refer to previous correspondence and confirm
that I am content with nominations of the persons named as Electoral
Commissioners in your letter dated March 5th.
21 May 2010