Charities: Rules and Guidance for Political Campaigning
Campaigning rules and guidance
The period between the end of the last Parliamentary term and the formation of a new government is known as purdah and means that civil servants and public bodies, including the Charity Commission, have to be careful about publishing anything that could be considered politically sensitive. Under the Lobbying Act charities which are registered with the Electoral Commission will have to start reporting their activity. However, the Charities Aid Foundation has expressed concern that the Lobbying Act may deter charities from any commenting on political and social issues in the run up to the General Election.
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Since last year’s EU referendum, people across the country are becoming increasingly active in political and social issues. There is a growing appetite to make a difference and many see charities as a way to achieve that “As we head into a General Election, there is a real danger that the Lobbying Act may deter charities from fulfilling this fundamental role which is central to our democracy. “While not engaging with party politics, it is both legitimate and vital for charities to influence government and opposition policies on behalf of their beneficiaries.
The Charity Commission has produced specific guidance for charities campaigning during the run-up to the election. Additionally the principles outlined in CC9 Speaking out: Guidance on campaigning and political activities by charities still apply during the period.
Charities, elections and referendums advises every charity to “steer clear of explicitly comparing its views (favourably or otherwise) with those of political parties or candidates”.
– See more at: https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/charity-leaders-say-sector-must-be-involved-after-snap-election-announced.html?utm_source=Civil+Society+News+List&utm_campaign=e0c4c449ce-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_04_18&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_26f393b813-e0c4c449ce-86521725#sthash.tUYYKLOq.dpuf