The Electoral Reform Society has responded to Ed Miliband’s proposals on party funding and reactions from the Conservative Party.
The Labour leader has advocated a £5,000 cap on donations – but pressed to keep the ‘opt out’ system under which fees from union members are automatically directed to the party. The Conservatives are pressing for a higher cap of £50,000 on individual gifts.
The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, Sir Christopher Kelly, had recommended a cap of £10,000.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:
If we’re going to have a serious conversation on party funding, we need to keep all the options on the table. We won’t find a solution by kicking any ideas into the long grass.
“It’s easy enough to say policies aren’t for sale: voters expect nothing less. The difficult bit is achieving a genuinely level playing field at election time. And if that’s going to be achieved we need to consider the merits of spending and donations caps and public funding.
“If politicians are serious about taking the big money out of politics they need to put personal prejudices and partisan interests aside and get on with it.”