Yesterday saw the Third Reading of the Political Parties and Elections Bill, which kicked off with a Government amendment increasing the number of Electoral Commissioners to be persons nominated by political parties to three.
Lord Rennard, something of an expert on elections, I'm told, noted how important it was that commissioners should have genuine hands-on experience of running winning campaigns, as well as the array of legislation relating to them. It was, as Lord Bach noted, a subject on which Lord Rennard had been consist for nearly a decade.
Debate then moved onto a series of amendments designed to address the concerns of Lord Marlesford, whose keen eye had spotted that the original draft of the Bill had allowed officials of the Electoral Commission to gain entrance to the premises of an individual or organisation to examine documents related to their income and expenditure without a warrant. Local Party Chairs and Treasurers will doubtless be relieved that their homes will remain their castles.
On the other hand, I quite fancied the idea of being an Officer of the Electoral Commission, armed with automatic weaponry, kicking down doors at four in the morning, shouting "Show me the books and records for the 100 Club!"...