Election watchdog fines for DUP and TUV

Regional Electoral Commission head Ann Watt

THE Electoral Commission has imposed a £1,000 fine on the DUP for two instances of "inaccurate loan reporting".

The party blamed an "administrative oversight" for the blunders, which predated increased transparency rules around political donations.

The election watchdog said that because the offences occurred before July last year, when the updated legislation was introduced, it could not disclose the source of the loan or the nature of the inaccuracies.

The two reporting inaccuracies attracted fines of £500 each, which have both been paid.

Jim Allister's TUV was also fined £1,000 for late delivery of a spending return for last year's general election. The fine was due earlier this month but has not been paid, the commission said.

Regional Electoral Commission head Ann Watt said: "The reporting requirements are clear, so it is always disappointing when parties fail to comply.

"It's vital that voters are given an opportunity to see accurate and full reportable data on what parties spend money on in order to influence them at elections and referendums."

A DUP spokeswoman said: "Due to an administrative oversight our submission was incorrect.

"The fine has been paid and the Electoral Commission has considered the matter closed."

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