GB News: Former MEP slams the Electoral Commission that ‘stifles democracy’ amid new law

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The new law has been criticised by opponents for endangering free and fair elections and has been labelled as an “authoritarian power grab”. The independent agency was formed to regulate party and election finance and sets standards for how elections should be run.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said: “As the political finance regulator and the body which oversees free and fair elections, the way we work, and our decisions must remain independent.

“This underpins fairness and trust in the electoral system, as well as public and cross-party confidence in the commission.”

The spokesperson continued: “We remain concerned about the potential impact of this measure and look to the formal consultation on the Government’s proposed statement once that is available.

“All parties have stated during the parliamentary consideration of the Elections Bill that the independence of the Electoral Commission is vital to the functioning of a healthy democracy.

“The commission will continue to act in an independent and impartial way in order to help maintain public confidence in elections across the UK.”

Speaking on GB News, Mr Habib clapped back at the supposed independence of the body and said: “I think the Electoral Commission is anything other than an independent regulatory body.”

He discussed the Commission’s attitude towards the Brexit Party, of which he was a member, and said: “The Electoral Commission breathed down our necks like no other entity could possibly have done so.

“It was actually stifling democracy; it was looking at everything down to the minutest detail, and actually our finances were tickety-boo; they were absolutely clean.”

He added: “Even though they made our lives incredibly difficult, they found nothing.”

Mr Habib accused the Conservative Party and Labour of “getting away with all sorts of peculiar donations”, notably from Russia.

He added: “The Electoral Commission is just another quango regulatory body which allows the two main parties to effectively ping pong between themselves, trying to stuff it full of their own cronies like they do all the other institutions that govern us and try to sway the debate in their favour.”

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According to Mr Habib, the Commission “does not protect democracy, it stands in the way of democracy”.

He suggested we “ditch” the body all together “and simply rely on the fact that it is illegal for parties to take finances from dodgy people and to take finances in particular ways that can be statutorily barred.”

The Elections Bill which was passed on Wednesday also means voting ID will be mandatory at elections.

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