Now that the election has been confirmed for 12 December 2019, The Charity Commission is issuing a reminder to all charities of their particular responsibilities in the weeks ahead.
The Commission is aware that the political context for this election is very different from that which people may have experienced in the past, which makes it all the more important that trustees read both our guidance on campaigning and political activity and the particular guidance that applies during an election (PDF, 606KB). We’ve also published lessons learned during the last election in 2017.
It is legitimate and healthy for charities to speak up for the causes they serve. But appearing to take a political position on either side could risk undermining public confidence in charity as something special, an issue which our chief executive made clear in her recent blog.
As well as your responsibilities under charity law, you need to be aware of the rules on what is called ‘third party campaigning’ under electoral law, which may affect your charity. The Electoral Commission has worked closely with charities to produce ‘Non-party campaigners: where to start’, using real-life case studies to provide advice to charity campaigners.