HC Deb 10 May 2004 vol 421 c115W
Llew Smith

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what his policy is on the apportionment of public funds to the(a) No and (b) Yes campaigns on the European Constitution Referendum. [170985]

Mr. Leslie

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 makes the Electoral Commission responsible for distributing public funds to the designated organisations that will serve as the No and Yes campaigns in any referendum. The legislation provides for grants from the Electoral Commission of up to £600,000 to be distributed to each designated organisation.

Each designated organisation is allowed to send one referendum address free of charge; to use, on application, public rooms such as schools and libraries free of charge for holding public meetings in the 28 days ending with the day before the date of the poll; and is entitled to referendum campaign broadcasts, the length and frequency of which will be determined by the licensing body having regard to any views expressed by the Electoral Commission.