Electoral Law: The Urgent Need for Review Contents

4Intimidation of candidates and campaigners

63.The Government plans to introduce a new electoral offence of intimidation committed against a candidate or campaigner during an electoral period.86 This followed a recommendation from the Committee on Standards in Public Life.87 The Committee on Standards in Public Life explained their support for the creation of such an offence as follows:

Making intimidation an electoral offence would serve the purpose of emphasising that intimidation of a parliamentary candidate is an affront to the integrity of our democracy, as well as an offence against the individual victim.88

64.The Cabinet Office explained in written evidence that the electoral offence “would apply appropriate electoral sanctions to existing, clearly defined criminal law offences and would not make anything illegal that is currently legal under criminal law.89

65.We welcome the Government’s proposals to introduce an electoral offence of intimidation against a candidate or campaigner during an electoral period and agree with the Government’s approach of not to make illegal anything which is currently legal under criminal law. We recommend that the creation of electoral offences of intimidation of candidates and campaigners should be included in the Law Commission’s final report on electoral law.


86 Cabinet Office (ELL0012)

88 Committee on Standards in Public Life (ELL0006)

89 Cabinet Office (ELL0012)




Published: 1 November 2019