Tuesday 19 December 2017 12:27 pm

The Electoral Commission has fined the Lib Dems and the Remain campaign over spending

The Liberal Democrats and the official Remain campaign group have been slapped with fines over how they recorded their spending during the EU referendum.

The Lib Dems were handed an £18,000 fine over a failure to deliver a complete and accurate spending return. The Electoral Commission, which handed out the fines, said in some cases no invoices or receipts were provided at all, while in others, the receipts which were provided were inadequate or incomplete.

Some £1,000 of the fine was handed down because some expenses were reported in aggregate rather than individually.

To Electoral Commission said the total was close to its maximum individual fine of £20,000.

Meanwhile, Open Britain, nee Britain Stronger in Europe, was fined £1,250 for similar oversights: it paid £1,000 for reporting payments in aggregate, and another £250 for three invoices which weren't provided.

The Commission also said it had handed fines to the Immigrants Political Party, Traditional Unionist Voice and the Labour Campaign for Human Rights, among others.

“The reporting requirements for parties and campaigners at referendums and elections are clear, that’s why it is disappointing that the Liberal Democrats didn’t follow them correctly," said Bob Posner, director of political finance and regulation and legal counsel at the Commission.

"The major political parties must ensure their internal governance is sufficiently invested in and resourced so they can be sure of meeting their legal obligations. Where the rules are not followed, transparency is lost which is not in the public interest or as parliament intended.”