Even if an organisation appears to have charitable purposes and provide public benefit, it cannot be a charity if:
- it is a political party, or
- one of its purposes is to advance a political party.
This does not stop charities from campaigning, lobbying or taking part in other political activity, as long as:
- this activity advances their charitable purposes
- the charity’s governing document does not prohibit this kind of activity
- the activity is not advancing a particular political party
- the charity trustees are acting in the charity’s interests, and with due care and diligence.
Campaigning, for example to change the law or the policy of public bodies, can be a charity’s main activity as long as it is advancing its charitable purposes,and political campaigning does not become a purpose in itself.