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Charities Campaigning During Elections

Theresa May’s announcement of a Snap General Election on 8th June has thrown the issue of Charity campaigning during electoral periods into focus.

Charities have an undeniable ability to transform the public’s perception and change the shape of the political agenda. Previous Charity campaigns have proven to be a focal point during electoral periods, including the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007 and the Disability Discrimination Act in 1995.

Since the introduction of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act in 2014, a wide range of third-party campaigning activities are regulated during electoral periods.

Charities must take into account these restrictions before embarking upon a campaign. Charities should also be reminded that the guiding principle of Charity law in terms of elections, is that Charities must clearly be independent from party politics.

Despite this, Charities should be aware of their influence and retain the confidence to speak out in furtherance of their objects.

If you would like further guidance on Charity law and the good practice guidelines during electoral periods, please contact one of our Charities experts – Michael Culley or Rebecca McCarthy today.

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