But Mr Smith said the act allowed financial agents to list the address of their party
Really. Why didn’t Mr Smith cite a clause. Maybe because he made it up. Let’s look at the Act. First of all we have s7(1):
The secretary of a party must appoint a financial agent to be responsible for administering the party’s finances.
If none is appointed, the secretary is deemed to be appointed. Then Clause 63(2) says:
No promoter may, during a regulated period, publish, or cause or permit to be published, any election advertisement unless—(a) the advertisement contains a statement that sets out the name and address of the promoter of the advertisement;
And s63(3) paragraph (a) states who maybe a promoter:
the financial agent of a party, but only if the advertisement is a party advertisement promoted by, or on behalf of, that party;
Okay so for all party advertisements, the promoter is the party’s financial agent. And the advertisement must have the name and address of the promoter, ie the financial agent.
So which address can one use. We turn to s5(1)
address means,— (a) in relation to an individual, the full address of the place where that person usually lives:
So the address must be the full address of where the financial agent usually lives. No wriggle room there. So on what basis does Mr Smith argue he can list the party’s address?
Smith also claims:
and the chief electoral officer had given an indication that view was acceptable.
Well this is possible, but beware people purporting to speak on behalf of others. I prefer to go off their direct words to the media:
Electoral Commission chief executive Helena Catt said no concerns had been raised with them from parties about the requirement for a personal address. She said the commission would be unable to change the situation because it was written in the law.
People should note though that the Chief Electoral Officer is a different person to Dr Catt.