Application to register a new political party – decision on draft financial scheme
only Political objectives/party information
The purposes of this assessment is to consider whether not the Commission should approve the draft financial
scheme lodged on behalf of the party by their legal representatives on 15 September 2017. Because we are only
considering whether or not to approve the financial scheme, the details of the party’s application have not been
published online for comment at this time.
The party lodged an application on 30 June 2017 (please note that the date stamp on the application is incorrect) to
register a political party on the Great Britain register in the name of ‘Aspire’.
The party intend to stand candidates in England only.
This assessment is in relation to whether or not the draft financial scheme can be approved by the Commission. The
application as a whole, including adoption of the financial scheme, will be considered separately. See this email of 5
October 2017 to the applicant’s representative. The application is following this process in response to
representations from the applicant’s representative of 15 September 2017.
The party had previously applied to register under the name ‘Tower Hamlets Together’. That application was
rejected. Please find links to the application summary and registration note for that application.
That application attracted some attention from the media. A sample of the press articles are as follows:
o http://lovewapping.org/2017/02/bbc-london-news-lutfur-rahman-is-back-video/ (including video of BBC report)
There has been a clear implication that Lutfur Rahman, the leader of the formerly registered party ‘Tower Hamlets
First’ has a significant role in the applicant party.
Richard Mawrey QC as Election Commissioner in his judgement of the Election Petition to have Mr Rahman’s election
as Mayor of Tower Hamlets set aside, made serious and critical comments about Tower Hamlets First’s financial
scheme and the conduct of the financial affairs of that party. That judgement can be read using this link.
None of the persons named in the application appear to be mentioned in Richard Mawrey QC’s judgement in relation
to the 2014 Election Petition.
The article below includes some information about some of the persons named in the application:
Prior to lodging the application the subject of this assessment the party had, after their application to register ‘Tower
Hamlets’ together had been rejected, lodged an application to be called ‘Democratic Coalition’. That application was
withdrawn and the current application lodged in its place.
I have not been able to find any website or social media accounts for the party.
Correspondence history in relation to this application
The Commission met with representatives of the party on 27 June 2017. A note of the meeting can be found here
(internal version and external version provided to party). The documents provided by the party at that meeting can be
The party then lodged an application on 30 June 2017 (please note that the date stamp on the application is
incorrect), along with a constitution and financial scheme.
On 1 August 2017, the Registration Team wrote to the party setting out comments it proposed to include in the
assessment and asking for comment.
On 17 August 2017, we received correspondence from the party’s representative Bindmans LLP asking for clarity on
a number of points.
We responded on 25 August 2017 providing further information in relation to the points raised. This email
summarises why the Commission had expressed concern that the party had not adopted its financial scheme.
The party’s representatives wrote to the Commission on 15 September 2017 making representations in relation to the
process and including the following documents:
o Covering letter
o Financial scheme
o Expenditure procedures
o Memo from Treasurer on controls and procedures
o Donations form
o Procedures re: submission to Commission
o Procedures for dealing with donations
Legal advice in relation to the representations from Bindmans LLP can be viewed here.
We wrote back to the party on 5 October 2017, responding to their representations and setting out the next steps in
relation to this application.
The purpose of this assessment is to recommend whether or not the Commission should approve the draft financial
scheme provided by the party’s legal representatives on 15 September 2017. To that end, I have considered the
financial scheme itself and the constitution provided on 15 September 2017 to see if it is consistent with the financial
scheme. I have not considered whether or not the financial scheme has been adopted and I have not considered any
other aspect of the application to be registered, including whether or not the applied for identity marks meet the
statutory tests and whether or not the constitution sets out the structure and organisation of the party.
I have not considered the internal procedures and control documents provided by the party in relation to the financial
scheme at this time. That is because I consider that those documents are relevant to consideration of whether or not
the party has adopted the financial scheme, rather than whether or not the Commission should approve the scheme
itself. For information, the process and procedure documents have been considered by a member of the
Commission’s finance team (see this email).
Pursuant to Schedule 4, paragraph 5 of PPERA an application to register must be accompanied by ‘a draft of the
scheme which the party proposes to adopt for the purposes of section 26 if approved by the Commission under that
’ Paragraph 7 sets out that an application to be registered must be signed by the proposed registered leader
or registered nominating officer, the proposed treasurer and, if applicable, the campaigns officer.
The signed application was submitted on 30 June 2017. Since that time, the party’s representatives have provided an
updated financial scheme. In correspondence of 15 September 2017, Bindmans LLP, indicated that they are
‘…formally instructed by Jahed Choudhury, proposed Treasurer of the political party ASPIRE, who we are instructed
is acting with the support of Kalam Choudhury and Lillian Collins, proposed Leader/Chair and Secretary of the political
party ASPIRE, in respect of which an application for registration is currently being considered by the Electoral
’ On that basis, I think the Commission can take the submission of the financial scheme on 15
September 2017 as duly authorised under PPERA.
The party’s financial scheme loosely follows the Commission’s model scheme available on the website.
The party have indicated in the scheme that they will not operate in respect of Northern Ireland. The scheme also
indicates that the party does not intend to contest a UK parliamentary election, European election, Scottish parliament
election, national assembly of Wales election or participate in a referendum to which part VII of PPERA applies.
The scheme says that the party will not take any loans. However, the scheme does not specifically reference other
types of regulated transactions, i.e. there is not mention of whether or not there will be credit facilities or connected
transactions. This may be because the Commission’s model scheme appears to primarily refer to regulated