§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether information is available to him on the proposed assistance by the European Parliament to political parties in the United Kingdom contesting the European Community elections in 1984; and whether he makes any assessment of the amount and distribution of this aid in reviewing his policy on election expenses and the conduct of the election.
§ Mr. Mayhew
I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that the European Parliament has so far made provision for the allocation of 20 million European currency units—£12.6 million, at the current rate of exchange—in preparation for the 1984 European Parliament elections. A further sum will be made available from the 1984 budget, but the amount has not yet been decided. This money will be allocated to the political groups in the European Parliament, roughly in accordance with their present level of representation in that Parliament. The European Parliament's bureau has laid down that these funds shall be used solely to finance activities directly connected with the preparation and implementation of the information campaign for the 1984 elections.
The provisions in United Kingdom law relating to election expenses regulate the money a candidate may spend on account or in respect of the conduct of an election. The maximum amount is determined by the number of electors in the constituency. The source of candidates' campaign funds is immaterial.