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Process for registering a political party

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					   Situations and procedures




Process for
registering a
political party
This document is for people who are
thinking about setting up a
registered political party, and want to
know more about the application
Terms and expressions we use
and registration process.
We use must when we refer to a specific legal or regulatory
requirement. We use should for items we consider to be minimum
good practice, but which are not legal requirements.
                                                          Contents:
You do not have to follow this guidance, but if you do, you will normally
be doing enough to comply with the law.                   Introduction to registering a party

                                                          Responsibilities and obligations
Our approach to enforcement
If you do not comply with legal or regulatory requirementsThe registers and type of party we register
                                                            you or your
organisation may be subject to civil or criminal sanctions. You can find
                                                           Completing and sending an application
http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/enforcement
                                                       The application and registration process

                                                          Appealing our decision
Terms and expressions we use
We use must when we refer to a specific legal or regulatory
requirement. We use should for items we consider to be minimum
good practice, but which are not legal requirements.
You do not have to follow this guidance, but if you do, you will normally
be doing enough to comply with the law.

Our approach to enforcement
If you do not comply with legal or regulatory requirements you or your
organisation may be subject to civil or criminal sanctions. You can find

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/enforcement
                                                                                       1
Process for
registering a
political party
Who this document is for:
People who are thinking about setting up a registered political
party, and want to know more about the application and
registration process.

The document covers:
   Introduction to registering a party
   Responsibilities and obligations as a registered party
   The registers and the types of party we register
   Completing and sending us your application
   The application and registration process
   Appealing our decision
   After registration

Related documents:
Introduction to registering a party
Overview of party names, descriptions and emblems
Overview of maintaining party details




                                      England: 020 7271 0616 Scotland: 0131 225 0200
                                      Wales: 029 2034 6800 N.Ireland: 028 9089 4020
2
    Forms for maintaining party details:


    RP1GB Application to register a political party in Great Britain
    RP1NI Application to register a political party in Northern
    Ireland
    RP2 Application to alter an entry in the register of political
    parties
    RP2D Application to register descriptions
    RP3 Notification of change of registered details of a political
    party
    RP4 Application to register a replacement party officer
    RP6 Declaration of exemption by a registered political party
    RP7 Withdrawal of declaration of exemption made by a
    registered political party
    RP8 Confirmation of registered details of a political party
    RP9 Application to deregister a political party


    You can also register a party by logging on to Party Election
    Finance (PEF) Online.




    Process for registering a political party
                                                                        3
Summary
Under the Political Parties, Elections
and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA),
we are responsible for the registration
of parties in Great Britain and Northern
Ireland.
This document explains the
application and registration process to
register your party.




                       England: 020 7271 0616 Scotland: 0131 225 0200
                       Wales: 029 2034 6800 N.Ireland: 028 9089 4020
4
    Introduction
    Political parties and campaigners are vital to a healthy
    democracy and we encourage participation in the political
    process.
    One of the ways to get involved is to set up a political or minor
    party. And, if parties want to use their names on ballot papers,
    they need to register with us, the Electoral Commission.
    If you want to register your party, this document takes you
    through our registration process and explains what you
    need to do.


    Responsibilities and obligations
    as a registered party
    Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000
    (PPERA), registering a political party brings legal obligations. It is
    a serious commitment and you should think carefully about the
    responsibilities you will be taking on.
    Before you make any decisions about registering, we
                                                                             For more information,
    recommend you read our Introduction to registering a party               see:
    guidance. It will help you decide if you want to register, give
                                                                             Introduction to
    information on what you will need to provide and help you                registering a party
    decide which registers you would like to appear on.


    The register of political parties
    There are two registers of political parties in the UK, one for
    Great Britain (GB) and one for Northern Ireland (NI). We maintain
    both registers.
    These separate registers contain the details of all the political
    parties registered to contest elections in England, Scotland and
    Wales (GB register) and Northern Ireland (NI register).
    Parties on the GB register also select which parts of Great Britain
    they want to be registered in. Parties can choose a combination
    of England, Scotland or Wales.



    Process for registering a political party
                                                                                         5

The types of party we register
Political parties – are set up to contest local authority, devolved,
national or European elections.
Minor parties – are set up to contest parish council elections
(England) and community council elections (Wales).


Completing your application
You can make your application for registration directly through
                                                                            PEF Online
Party Election Finance (PEF) Online. PEF Online is our web-
based registration area, where you can manage all your party
details and submit your statutory returns. If you want to register
online, then please visit PEF Online for guidance on how to make
an application.
Alternatively, you can make an application by post by sending us
the relevant form. The application forms you will need to
complete will depend on the type of party you want to set up,
and where your party wants to be registered.

Which form will you need?
Political parties
If you are a political party and you want to register in Great               RP1GB
Britain, you will need to complete an RP1GB form.
If you are a political party and you want to register in Northern            RP1NI
Ireland, you will need to complete an RP1NI form.

Minor parties
If you are a minor party you will need to complete an RP1M form.             RP1M
You can only register in Great Britain.




                                       England: 020 7271 0616 Scotland: 0131 225 0200
                                       Wales: 029 2034 6800 N.Ireland: 028 9089 4020
6
    What information do you need to give?
    The form will ask you to give information about:
       your party details such as the party name, headquarters
       address and contact details
       your party officer details
       your party emblems and descriptions
       the parts of the UK that you want to be registered
       to contest elections in
       your accounting unit details (if you intend to have them)

    You can also tell us if:
       You do not intend to contest UK general elections.
       This means that you will be exempt from weekly reporting
       during a general election period.
       You intend to contest the combined region of the South West
       and Gibraltar at European Parliamentary elections.
       This allows you to accept donations and loans from certain      For more information,
       sources in Gibraltar during the European Parliamentary          see our website.
       election campaign.

    You can change these statements at any time once
    registered. So you should answer according to your intentions at
    the time of completing the form.


    Sending us your application
    Along with the relevant application form, you will also need to
    send us:
                    financial scheme
       A copy of your par
       A non-refundable cheque for £150, payable to us, the
       Electoral Commission
    You should send your application to:
    Party and Election Finance
    The Electoral Commission
    3 Bunhill Row
    London
    EC1Y 8YZ


    Process for registering a political party
                                                                                         7
Why do we ask for your financial scheme?
Your financial scheme demonstrates how your party will comply
with the legal requirements of party and election finances under
PPERA.
Your scheme should include procedures for:
   accounting records
   handling donations and loans
   maintaining your registered details with us
   authorising and reporting on campaign spending

We produce a template scheme that you can use as a base
                                                                       Download our
                             own financial scheme.
                                                                       Model financial
You do not have to use this scheme, but it includes all the            scheme template
relevant areas you will need to consider.
This scheme is not suitable if you are appointing a campaigns
officer or if your party will have accounting units. We can provide
you with appropriate schemes, so please call us.

Why do we ask for your party constitution?

and governed.
We use your constitution to check if there is anything in it which
will conflict with your financial scheme. For example, how your
accounts are signed off.

should set out, but you may want to include the following:


   the structure of your party for example, if you have
   accounting units
   how the party is run for example, the frequency of meetings
   and how decisions are made
   what officers you have and what their responsibilities are
   if you have membership requirements




                                       England: 020 7271 0616 Scotland: 0131 225 0200
                                       Wales: 029 2034 6800 N.Ireland: 028 9089 4020
8
    The application and registration
    process
    We have a process for accepting and registering parties. There
    are key stages that your application will go through before you
    can be accepted on the register.
    The following flow chart gives an overview of a successful
    application and registration process.


       1         We receive and acknowledge your application

            1.     application



       2             We check and review your application

            2.     application

                                                                      This decision is
                                                                      made by the
       3         Your application is passed to a decision maker
                                                                      Director of Party and
                                                                      Election Finance.
            3.     application



       4         We make a decision and notify you of the result

            4.     application



       5            We update the register with your details

            5.     application



       6           We send you a registration welcome pack

            6.     application


    Process for registering a political party
                                                                                         9
Receiving your application
Once we have received your application, we will review it and
confirm that we have everything we need for registration.
If you have given all the correct information, we will acknowledge
the application and continue to the next stage of the process.
What if there is missing information?
If there is anything missing (including your financial scheme and
constitution), we will write to your proposed party treasurer and
ask for the information we need.

Checking and reviewing your information
We will review and confirm the following information:
  that your party name, descriptions and emblems are
  acceptable under PPERA
  that you have nominated a person, or people, to fill the three
  main officer roles
  that you have proposed two different people as party officers
  that your party financial scheme meets the requirements of
  PPERA
If there are any issues with your application at this stage in the
process, we will contact you and discuss how to resolve them.

What happens if we cannot accept your party name?
If your party name does not meet the requirements we will
contact you to try and resolve the issue.
What happens if we cannot accept your party emblem or
description?
Providing that the rest of your application is correct, we will still
register your party. But, we will exclude the particular description
or emblem that does not meet the requirements.
If this happens we will let you know. And, in these
circumstances, we are very happy to help you find an alternative
                                 a further registration fee.




                                        England: 020 7271 0616 Scotland: 0131 225 0200
                                        Wales: 029 2034 6800 N.Ireland: 028 9089 4020
10
 registering your party?
 Once we have made a decision, we will tell you whether your
 application has been successful.
 If we accept your application, we will send you a welcome pack
 containing further information. We will also update the register

 If we reject your application, we will explain the reasons in writing
 and advise you what you can do next. You can appeal our
 decision (see Appealing our decision below).

 How long will the registration process take?
 If you have given us all the correct information we need,
 we aim to let you know the result of your applications
 within 20 working days.


 Appealing our decision
 If we reject your application as a whole, or we refuse a particular
 name, description or emblem, you can appeal our decision.
 If you would like to discuss the reasons for our refusal informally,
 please call us. We will be happy to talk through the decision with
 you.
 If you want to make a formal appeal, you will need to send us
 your appeal in writing. You must do this within 20 working days
 of the date you were notified of our decision.
 You will need to send your written formal appeal to:
 Director of Party and Election Finance
 The Electoral Commission
 3 Bunhill Row
 London
 EC1Y 8YZ




 Process for registering a political party
                                                                                 11
What happens when you appeal?
Your appeal and the original decision will be reviewed by a
member of staff at the Electoral Commission who was not
involved in the original application. You will have a chance to
make written representations.
We will decide whether to:
  dismiss your appeal
  uphold your appeal
In both cases, we will write to you explaining our decision, and
we will let you know what steps you can take next.
You should receive our review decision within 20 working days.


After registration
Once you have registered successfully, as well as sending you a
welcome pack, we also like to run through your responsibilities
with you, and explain how you can get any help you need in the
future.
We can either do this in person at your office, at one of our
offices, or if it is more convenient, over the phone. We will get in
touch with you shortly after registration.



Under PPERA, you must keep your registered details up to date.
Every year you will be asked to confirm your registration details
in an annual registration confirmation.
You can also make changes to your details and add or change            For more information
descriptions and emblems at any time after you have registered.        see:

For more information on maintaining or changing your party             Overview of
                                                                       maintaining party
details, see Overview of maintaining party details.                    details




                                       England: 020 7271 0616 Scotland: 0131 225 0200
                                       Wales: 029 2034 6800 N.Ireland: 028 9089 4020
12
 How we can help
 You can find more information in the guidance documents we
 have suggested in this document, or you can view our full range
 of guidance and up-to-date resources on our website.

 numbers or email addresses below. We are here to help, so
 please get in touch.
 Call us on:
     England: 020 7271 0616
     pef@electoralcommission.org.uk
     Scotland: 0131 225 0200
     infoscotland@electoralcommission.org.uk
     Wales: 029 2034 6800
     infowales@electoralcommission.org.uk
     Northern Ireland: 028 9089 4020
     infonorthernireland@electoralcommission.org.uk
 Visit us at www.electoralcommission.org.uk
 We welcome feedback on our guidance         just email us at:
 pef@electoralcommission.org.uk.




 Process for registering a political party
                                                                                13




Translations and other formats
For information on obtaining this publication in another language
or in a large-print or Braille version, please contact the Electoral
Commission:
Tel: 020 7271 0500
Email: publications@electoralcommission.org.uk




                                       England: 020 7271 0616 Scotland: 0131 225 0200
                                       Wales: 029 2034 6800 N.Ireland: 028 9089 4020

				
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