MPs declared that to prevent online interruption to election within six months new laws should be commenced. The committee of Digital, Culture, Media, and sports said rules of the political advertising and campaign sponsoring were entirely insufficient for the digital age.
It wants hefty checks for online donations, clearer records on digital spending and details about who is behind the adverts. The government admitted there required to be “robust safeguards”.A representative said they had already promised to detain a consultation on the issues later this year.
The selection committee has emerged its appeal in a report as a reply to the consultation on the online white paper of the government – which ceased on Monday.
The committee claimed the paper “has a scant focus on electoral interference and online political advertising ” or analysis about foreign players aiming voters, despite its suggestions.
The chairman of the DCMS committee, Damian Collins said, “ we know that our electoral laws are not fit for purpose”. He also added, “political campaigns are fought online, not through the letterbox, and our laws need to be brought up to date with the digital age. We’ve repeatedly highlighted threats to our electoral system and it’s essential that public confidence is restored.”
A representative for the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport said, “the government agrees we need robust safeguards against hostile states, foreign lobbyists and shadowy third parties in place for the digital age ” .
The representative included, “we have already pledged to publish a consultation paper on electoral integrity – it is an important convention that the laws affecting political parties should not be changed by governments without proper consultation and discussions with political parties. ”