HL Deb 22 January 2003 vol 643 c99WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they would consider it to be in the public interest for British political parties and parliamentary elections to be funded by business interests; and, if not, what are their reasons for this view. [HL944]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

The Government's current policy on the funding of political parties follows the recommendations which the Committee on Standards in Public Life made in its 1998 report. The Government have since introduced rules on openness and transparency in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The independent Electoral Commission, which is charged with a statutory obligation to review and report on matters relating to the regulation and funding of political parties, has begun a review of the arguments for and against state funding and a cap on donations.