“The government has said it remains committed to passing a law that could allow tax exiles the right to vote and donate to political parties for life, after it failed to pass through the House of Commons.
MPs, including the serial filibusterer Philip Davies, tabled dozens of amendments to the overseas electors bill for debate on Friday, resulting in it being dropped after parliamentary time to discuss it ran out.
Under current law, British expatriates can remain on the electoral roll, allowing them to vote and make donations, for 15 years after they leave the UK. The overseas electors bill proposed removing the time limit, giving all expats the right to vote and donate for life.
Speaking on behalf of the government, the cabinet office minister Chloe Smith told the House: “The government remains committed to scrapping the cap.” The Conservative party pledged to bring in the law in its 2017 manifesto.
Anti-corruption campaigners and Labour MPs had expressed alarm at the bill. Margaret Hodge, the former chair of parliament’s public accounts committee, described the bill as “shocking” and warned it would “increase tax haven billionaires’ influence and allow dirty money donations to political parties”.”