The Committee on Standards in Public Life today published a consultation paper setting out the key issues and questions on which it intends to focus during its inquiry into party political finance.
The Committee, chaired by Sir Christopher Kelly, is an independent body which reports to the Prime Minister on standards in public life across the UK.
Launching the inquiry at the Committee's annual open meeting in London, Sir Christopher Kelly said:
"It is obvious that there are significant concerns about the funding arrangements of our political parties, in particular the reliance of all the major parties on big donors. A commitment to reform was included in all three manifestoes. So there is acceptance of the need for change but as yet no agreement on the detail.
"The Committee hopes that by undertaking a full, independent and evidence-based look at this issue, we can produce recommendations for change that will enhance public confidence in the way parties are funded. We recognise that this inquiry may involve some complex issues for all the parties.
"We are publishing a consultation paper today and calling for evidence from interested organisations and individuals as well as the public. The Committee will begin a series of public hearings later in the Autumn where we will take evidence from a wide range of witnesses."
The Issues and Questions paper is available from www.public-standards.org.uk or by calling 0207 276 2589.
Notes to Editors
Media enquiries should go to Maggie O'Boyle.
1. The Committee on Standards in Public Life is an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Cabinet Office. The Chair and Members are appointed by the Prime Minister. The Committee was established in October 1994 with the following terms of reference: "To examine current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities, and make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life. Additional terms of reference were announced on 12 November 1997: "To review issues in relation to the funding of political parties, and to make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements."
2. The current members of the Committee are: Sir Christopher Kelly KCB, Chairman, Rt Hon Lord Alderdice, Lloyd Clarke QPM, Oliver Heald MP, Rt Hon Alun Michael JP MP, Sir Derek Morris MA DPhil, Dame Denise Platt DBE, David Prince CBE, Dr Elizabeth Vallance JP, Dr Brian Woods-Scawen DL CBE.
3. The Committee announced it would be holding a full inquiry into the funding of political parties on 20 July 2010. At transcript of the exploratory hearing and additional information about the Committee and its work is available on the Committee's website www.publicstandards.org.uk
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