December 2, 2019 / 10:38 AM / 14 days ago

Britain's electoral law not fit for purpose - Electoral Commission

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Laws governing the upcoming UK election are not fit for purpose and steps by Facebook and Google to increase transparency around digital adverts are not a substitute for reform, an official from Britain’s elections regulator said.

In May the government pledged to safeguard elections through new legislation, including a requirement for a digital imprint on election material and stronger laws on foreign donations, after calls from the Electoral Commission to update the laws regulating elections for the digital age.

However, with British politics consumed by Brexit and Boris Johnson replacing Theresa May as prime minister, the government’s proposals never became law before the Dec. 12 election was called.

“We think electoral law needs to be reformed. That hasn’t happened, so we are continuing to run this election with laws that aren’t fit for purpose,” Louise Edwards, director of regulation at the Electoral Commission, told Reuters.

“There are definitely going to be things that we would rather see done differently, better and more transparently for the voter that won’t be, because the law hasn’t been updated.” (Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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