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Evidence session on the Electoral Commission implementation of referendum campaign conduct rules

24 May 2021

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee continues its inquiry into the work of the Electoral Commission on Tuesday 25 May in a session focusing on its role and reputation in regulating the conduct of referendums.

Purpose of the session

The first panel includes the ‘responsible person’ or compliance director of each of the official campaigns for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum and 2016 EU referendum. It will examine how the Electoral Commission ensured compliance with rules governing spending and donations. It will also examine the quality and timeliness of support and guidance over the course of the campaigns and its approach to investigations and sanctions.

The Committee will then take evidence from former members of the Independent Commission on Referendums on their 2018 report and the lessons for the Electoral Commission. The Committee will also take evidence on the approach taken to establish an electoral commission in Ireland from the Head of the Franchise Unit and its implications for the conduct of referendums in Ireland.


Tuesday 25 May

From 9.30am

Panel 1

  • Paul Comer, Former Compliance Director, Britain Stronger in Europe
  • Alan Halsall, Former Responsible Person, Vote Leave Ltd
  • Scott Martin, Solicitor to the SNP and former Responsible Person, Yes Scotland Ltd
  • Kate Watson, Former Responsible Person, Better Together

Panel 2

  • The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC, Former member of the Independent Commission on Referendums
  • The Rt Hon the Baroness Stuart of Edgbaston, Former member of the Independent Commission on Referendums
  • Dr Alan Renwick, Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit
  • Barry Ryan, Principal Officer, Franchise Unit, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage of the Republic of Ireland

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright