EVENT: Brexit whistleblower and election reformers to debate how to rein in campaign ‘wild west’

Posted on the 5th July 2018

  • Operations note and invite from the Electoral Reform Society.
  • RSVP to mediaoffice@electoral-reform.org.uk or call 02037436064. Spokespeople/speakers are available for interview in advance and on the day.

Campaigners including Stephen Kinnock MP and EU referendum whistleblower Shahmir Sanni will discuss how to rein in the election ‘wild west’ when it comes to campaigning in the digital age, at a major Westminster event this month. 

In the first attempt to pave a way forward for a comprehensive overhaul of campaign and finance regulation, the Electoral Reform Society will host Stephen Kinnock MP – who has campaigned on the issue of alleged collusion between EU campaigns [1] – as well as BeLeave whistleblower Shahmir Sanni.

Event details:

  • Title – Has our democracy become a wild west? Regulating campaign finance, foreign influence and data protection in the online age.
  • Venue – Palace of Westminster (location on RSVP)
  • Times –  8:30am-10:30am, 17th July
  • Key Speakers – Stephen Kinnock MP, Jess Garland (Electoral Reform Society), Kyle Taylor (FairVote UK), Shahmir Sanni (former BeLeave Treasurer), other speakers TBC

Sanni made news in March when he claimed that £625,000 was donated by Vote Leave to the organisation he was Treasurer of, BeLeave [2].

The Electoral Reform Society will also host FairVote UK director Kyle Taylor.

The ERS are looking at what ways election and referendum regulations may need to be updated to ‘drag them into the 21st century’, given they were drafted in a pre-digital age [3].
The lack of reform to the pre-digital campaigning law has created a ‘digital wild west’ – we now need to consider a comprehensive review of the law and the investigatory and enforcement powers of the regulators.


Notes to Editors
[1] https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/foreign-affairs/brexit/news/95846/labour-mp-wants-police-probe-russian-brexit-links-after
[2] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/24/brexit-whistleblower-cambridge-analytica-beleave-vote-leave-shahmir-sanni
[3] https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/democracy-campaigners-call-for-urgent-review-of-campaign-law-in-wake-of-cambridge-analytica-scandal/

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