‘Momentum’ misled activists into breaking electoral law
Momentum has been exposed in having misled activists into breaking electoral law.
Wolves of Westminster exposed the law-breaking plan last week, via a source undercover with Momentum.
This relates to the mass printing and dissemination of Labour election leaflets with an invalid imprint, which according to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) is illegal.
Where any material falling within subsection (1)(a) is published in contravention of subsection (1), then (subject to subsection (10))— (a) the promoter of the material, (b) any other person by whom the material is so published, and (c) the printer of the document, shall be guilty of an offence.
Momentum activists on Thursday 5th of December were e-mailed which directed them to a set of pro-Labour “resources” on various topics such as the NHS, which included ready-to-print leaflets along with the resources. These resources were shortly followed by a guide through a link which showed instructions on how to print off the “resources” themselves at home or send them off to be printed elsewhere. This was apparently also among the topics of the call itself.
This ‘how-to’ document suggested that activists can order the election materials in bulk from a private company called SoloPress as well as other similar mass printing services. During this time, Momentum were also directing activists to the Sponsor a Labour campaigner Facebook group, which was set up by Momentum to allow members to donate any “spare cash” to cover each other’s costs for campaigning expenses. Only a lawyer could say whether or not that was legal.
But these leaflets didn’t tell anyone who paid for them to be printed, which is an offence that comes with an unlimited fine. What’s more, not only Momentum itself, but every activist who did so, is liable for an unlimited fine.
This shows clear violations of electoral law, as well as misleading activists into committing violations of electoral law that Momentum has to be held accountable for. The Electoral Commission has been informed of this.The Deputy Editor of Wolves has written separately about why the story is important here.