The UK’s election authority is investigating whether the left-wing Momentum movement broke campaign finance rules in relation to spending in the 2017 general election.
In a statement, the Electoral Commission said it will look into whether the group – a key pillar of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party – exceeded spending limits for an unauthorised non-party campaigner in the vote, and whether the group gave inaccurate information over donations and payments.
Bob Posner, director of political finance at the Electoral Commission, said:
Momentum are a high profile active campaigning body. Questions over their compliance with the campaign finance rules at June’s general election risks causing harm to voters’ confidence in elections. There is significant public interest in us investigating Momentum to establish the facts in this matter and whether there have been any offences.
Once complete, the Commission will decide whether any breaches have occurred and, if so, what further action may be appropriate, in line with its enforcement policy.
Non-party campaigners are permitted to breach spending limits of just under £32,000 in England only if they have the authorisation of the political party they are promoting. “It is an offence to spend above the statutory limits without the party’s authorisation,” the commission said.
The investigation is the latest sign of the tougher stance the commission is taking in UK votes. In November, it launched two investigations into the activities of pro-Brexit campaigns.
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