Election campaigning rules take effect for purdah

Now that Parliament has been dissolved ahead of the general election on 7 May, all charities must make sure that they are following Charity Commission campaigning guidance, and those that are registered as third-party campaigners must begin weekly reporting to the Electoral Commission.

The period between the end of the last Parliamentary term and the formation of a new government is known as purdah and means that civil servants and public bodies, including the Charity Commission, have to be careful about publishing anything that could be considered politically sensitive.

The Charity Commission has produced specific guidance for charities campaigning during the run-up to the election. Additionally the principles outlined in CC9 Speaking out: Guidance on campaigning and political activities by charities still apply during the period.

Charities, elections and referendums advises every charity to “steer clear of explicitly comparing its views (favourably or otherwise) with those of political parties or candidates”.

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