Head of Electoral Commission to stand down amid controversy

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The Head of the Electoral Commission is to stand down amid controversy and claims of anti-Brexit bias.
Claire Bassett is moving on as Chief Executive after a whole series of incidents including:
Leave.EU describing a £70,000 fine as a “politically motivated attack on Brexit” and vowing to appeal the decision in court.

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Claire Bassett Head of the Electoral Commission

Jumped before she was pushed – especially with some very very embarrassing court cases coming up…Claire Bassett to step down as head of Electoral Commission | Politics |

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Jumped before she was pushed – especially with some very very embarrassing court cases coming up…Claire Bassett to step down as head of Electoral Commission

Arron Banks

The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/
oct/26/claire-bassett-to-step-down-as-head-of-electoral-commission

20:20 – 26 Oct 2018
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Claire Bassett to step down as head of Electoral Commission
Chief executive led regulator as online campaigning grew and pro-Brexit groups broke law
theguardian.comto step down as head of Electoral Commission
Chief executive led regulator as online campaigning grew and pro-Brexit groups broke law
theguardian.com

High Court telling the Commission that they “misinterpreted the definition of ‘referendum expenses’”.

Labour MP Kate Hoey slammed them as being “extremely biased”.
Several of those on the board were revealed to have made commented that implied anti-Brexit bias.

Responding to the news, Leave.EU’s .

Andy Wigmore claimed that Bassett “jumped before she was pushed”.

The credibility of ElCom currently lies in tatters.

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The Guardian Sat 27 Oct 18

Claire Bassett is to leave the Electoral Commission after a three-year stint as chief executive during which the regulator contended with the growth of online campaigning, investigated pro-Brexit campaigns for breaking electoral law and fined the Conservatives for busting spending limits in the 2015 general election.
Bassett will leave the chief executive role at the end of the year. Under her watch, the regulator warned that British democracy “may be under threat” and called for a raft of new legislation to clarify who is paying for online political campaign material, set new restrictions on who can give to political causes, and substantially increase the level of fines against campaigns that break the law.
The commission came under scrutiny for the way it dealt with claims of overspending during the EU referendum. Following several lengthy investigations, it concluded this summer – almost two years after the vote – that both Leave.EU and Vote Leave had broken electoral law.
The commission issued fines and reported individuals to the police for further investigation, but Bassett had already said that the maximum £20,000 fine available to her organisation, set by parliament, meant the penalties imposed were seen by campaigns as a “cost of doing business”.
Both pro-Brexit campaigns accused the commission of bias and politicising what until recently had been an important but largely obscure organisation. Leave.EU’s Arron Banks described it as a “Blairite swamp creation”.
Last year Bassett used a letter to the Guardian to emphasise that her organisation’s role was “to ensure transparency on where money is being spent to influence voting, rather than to stop campaigning”. “Indeed, the health of our democracy relies on the ability for candidates, parties and non-party campaigners to engage with voters in ways that voters find accessible.”
Bassett will move to a job running the new Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which was created to protect British industry from unfair trading practices after the UK leaves the EU.

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