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Charities reminded of the rules around political campaigning ahead of General Election

21 Jun 2024

Last month a UK General Election was called for 4 July and we drew the attention of charities to our updated guidance on political campaigning by charities.

The guidance makes clear our position that charities may only undertake campaigning where it is consistent with their charitable purposes. It sets out our expectation of the standards we expect from charity trustees, acting with due care and diligence, in the interests of the charity and free from party political bias.

We are now well into the pre-election campaigning period and this is a time when charities must be especially vigilant that they are acting within the rules. In particular, we wish to remind charities that while they may seek to raise awareness among the public of the policies of each political party on matters relevant to their charitable purposes, they must not express a preference for particular candidates or parties, or seek to persuade constituents how to vote.

We have become aware that some charities may have been approached to display material on their premises which would not comply with this guidance. We are of the view that this material would breach the requirement for party political neutrality if it were displayed by charities.

We are therefore taking this opportunity to remind all charities of our guidance and, if they are carrying out campaigning during this period, to ensure that they do so in a manner that is consistent with their charitable purposes, lawful and beyond reproach.

We encourage you to read the guidance carefully and, if necessary, to seek independent advice before undertaking any political campaigning.

Read the full guidance here: Charities and campaigning on political issues.