Cochrane says report underlines need for changes to ensure transparency in party donations here

On the day that an Electoral Commission report was published on election campaign spending, Alliance MLA Judith Cochrane has said it is vital that Westminster legislation which allows anonymity on political donations here be scrapped. She said, “Alliance supports the full normalisation of the party donation and disclosure regime in Northern Ireland consistent with the rest of the United Kingdom. We believe that the arguments used to rationalise exemptions have become redundant is no reason why Northern Ireland should not have the same donations regulations as the rest of the UK.

Judith Cochrane MLA said: “This Electoral Commission report illustrates the need to scrap the legislation which currently allows anonymous political donations to parties here. We have made much progress on cementing peace here and there is no reason why Northern Ireland should not have regulations on donations that are the same as those in the rest of the UK.

“Public confidence in politics has been rocked in recent years as regards expenses issues and the lack of success government has had in tackling issues like unemployment and rising living costs during these tough economic times. Parties in Northern Ireland should face the same rigorous scrutiny that others in the rest of the UK face in relation to donations as this would provide people with the information to make their own judgements of the motivations of politicians and political parties with respect to the stances taken.”


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