Schedule 1 - Foreign interference in elections

National Security Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:30 pm ar 12 Gorffennaf 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Amendments made: 10, in schedule 1, page 51, line 5, at end insert—

“Offences under the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 (c.14 (N.I.))

An offence under any of these provisions of Schedule 9 to the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 (c.14 (N.I.))

Maximum term of imprisonment

Paragraph 1 (bribery)

4 years

Paragraph 2 (treating)

4 years

Paragraph 3 (undue influence)

4 years

Paragraph 4 (personation)

7 years

Paragraph 4A (postal and proxy votes)

7 years

Paragraph 5A (false statements in nomination papers etc)

4 years

Paragraph 26(2) (tampering with nomination papers etc)

7 years”

This amendment adds offences under the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 to the list of offences to which clause 14 applies.

Amendment 11, in schedule 1, page 52, line 27, at end insert—

“Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 (c.14 (N.I.))

1 (1) The Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 (c.14 (N.I.)) is amended as follows.

(2) In section 105 (restrictions on summary prosecution) after subsection (8) insert—

‘(9) A corrupt practice or electoral offence in relation to which section 14 of the National Security Act 2022 (which provides for higher sentences in cases of foreign interference) applies is triable only on indictment.’

(3) In section 106 (prosecution of offences disclosed on election petition) after subsection (1) insert—

‘(1A) The duty in subsection (1) to obey a direction given by an election court does not apply to a direction with respect to the prosecution of a corrupt practice or electoral offence in relation to which the Director has reasonable grounds to believe section 14 of the National Security Act 2022 (which provides for higher sentences in cases of foreign interference) applies.’

(4) In section 108 (penalties for corrupt practices) after subsection (4) insert—

‘(5) This section does not apply where section 14 of the National Security Act 2022 (which provides for higher sentences in cases of foreign interference) applies in relation to the corrupt practice.’

(5) In section 111 (penalties for electoral offences) after subsection (2A) insert—

‘(2B) Subsections (1) to (2A) do not apply where section 14 of the National Security Act 2022 (which provides for higher sentences in cases of foreign interference) applies in relation to the electoral offence.’

(6) In section 112(1H) (incapacities resulting from convictions) after ‘109’ insert ‘or under section 14 of the National Security Act 2022 (which provides for higher sentences in cases of foreign interference)’.

(7) In section 118 (time limit for prosecutions) after subsection (3) insert—

‘(4) This section does not apply where section 14 of the National Security Act 2022 (which provides for higher sentences in cases of foreign interference) applies in relation to the electoral misdemeanour.’” —(Stephen McPartland.)

This amendment amends the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 in relation to offences under that Act to which clause 14 applies, e.g. to prevent such offences being tried summarily and to remove time limits for prosecuting such offences.

Schedule 1, as amended, agreed to.