Should Frank Field have declared £2,000 USDAW donation to his 2017 General Election campaign in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests?
In 2017 USDAW made a £2,000 donation to the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party for Frank Field’s election campaign on the 26th April 2017. You can see the declaration signed by Frank Field and the donations page below (the thumbnail of the donations page links to a higher resolution and more readable version).
A letter from USDAW’s General Secretary John Hannett also dated 26th April 2017 states, “Usdaw are very grateful for your support for Usdaw’s campaigns and your work in taking the Tories to task over the impact of their policies on working people.
I am pleased to inform you that Usdaw are making a donation of £2,000 to your CLP to assist with your campaigning.
This is being paid by direct bank transfer to the main CLP account that we pay our affiliation fees to.”
After election as a Member of Parliament, Members of Parliament are required to declare in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests (full details on the requirements are published here) “support for their activities as a Member, or for candidacy at an election for parliamentary or non-parliamentary office, which has a value of more than £1,500”
It goes on to state in respect of donations to a local party organisation (such as a Constituency Labour Party) “A Member must register under this sub-category support received by his or her constituency party organisation or which he or she receives via a central party organisation if there was a clear link between the donation and him or her; for example, if it was given to a such an organisation with a wish that it be allocated to him or her, to his or her fighting fund…”
However it also states, “18. Members should not register under this category:
b) Trade union support for a constituency party organisation, where this is linked to the constituency and would be provided irrespective of the identity of the Member;”
The register of Member’s Financial Interest for Frank Field for 7th July 2017 and 31st July 2017 both fail to mention the £2,000 donation from USDAW to the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party, despite the letter about the donation being written directly to Frank Field and USDAW in their letter stating that the £2,000 is to “assist with your campaigning”.
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