Guidance for the voluntary sector during the election period

Guidance for the voluntary sector during the election period

A General Election has been called for 12 December.

Parliament has been dissolved and right now we have no MPs, just candidates. Although there are no sitting Parliamentarians, your organisation may still want to engage with those who are likely to take their places in the new Parliament in December. Business must go on.

But it is important to remember, especially at this time, that the independent nature of the charitable sector is of fundamental importance to society, and is greatly valued by the public. The guiding principle of charity law in terms of elections is that charities must be, and be seen to be, independent from party politics.

There are a number of ways in which a charity may be at risk of becoming embroiled in party politics, albeit unintentionally. These are set out under the following headings:

  • Policies
  • Publicity
  • Parties
  • Candidates
  • Facilities
  • Referendums

This doesn't mean that these activities and forms of engagement cannot take place, but special care needs to be taken to ensure that you stay within the law.

The Charity Commission has produced some helpful guidance on this matter and it can be viewed here

 

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