What does the uncertain political climate this year mean for charities and campaigners?

With European Parliamentary Elections looking certain to go ahead on 23 May and local elections taking place on 2 May, 2019 will be yet another year of electoral events for campaigners to consider (both as an opportunity and as a regulatory hurdle).

In addition, with the ever shifting timetable and uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU, and a febrile political climate, the prospect of a General Election or possibly even a new referendum in the coming months cannot be discounted.

Charities must always operate within a framework of rules regarding political activity and campaigning, and the risk of contravening these rules will generally become greater in the period preceding elections and referendums. Additionally, the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (sometimes referred to loosely as the ‘Lobbying Act’) sets out a framework of rules regulating campaigning and political activities ahead of elections, which might affect an organisation’s planned activities for the year ahead (and in some circumstances can even affect an organisation’s historical activities).

We are hosting a seminar to help you navigate these complexities, and also other election law and charity law rules on campaigning in these highly uncertain times. Topics will include:

  • How election and charity law work and how they might affect campaigning and political activities
  • How to assess whether spending prior to an election or referendum will be regulated under PPERA, and the compliance obligations that apply to non-party campaigners under PPERA.
  • The application of the retrospective regulated period before the European elections and any General Election that might be called in the coming months.
  • Charity law and Charity Commission guidance to charitable campaigning prior to an election, or any prospective ‘People’s Vote’.