A watchdog has fined the Labour Party for failing to declare a wraparound advertisement in a weekly freesheet as an election expense.
The Electoral Commission has imposed a £400 penalty on Labour for the oversight relating to a four-page advert which appeared in the Croydon Guardian ahead of last year’s local and European elections.
The £2,000 ad, paid for by its London branch, was not included in the party’s spending returns for either election, and this week the Commission judged Labour to have breached electoral rules.
The Croydon Advertiser reports that Labour had taken legal advice before deciding the advert was a European rather than council election expense, even though it only appeared in Croydon and made no reference to EU candidates.
The advert, pictured above, was not listed among either the party’s local or European expenses filed with the Commission. The fine was paid on 3 June.
It added: “The Commission considered, in accordance with the enforcement policy, that a sanction was appropriate in this case.”
A Labour Party spokesman told HTFP: “This was an administrative error which has now been resolved.” The Croydon Guardian declined to comment on the issue.