Lobbying Act

The Lobbying Act, legislated in January 2014, sets out new rules for how charities and other civil society organisations can campaign in the lead up to national elections.

Bond encourages all of our members to familiarise themselves with the new rules and importantly, to carry on campaigning.

Below you'll find some useful resources and background information.

What the act means for campaigning

The rules most recently applied to the 2017 UK general election. They came into force on 19 April 2017 and lasted until polling day, 8 June 2017.

Useful resources

FAQs answering some of the most common questions organisations might have.

Bond briefing paper designed to help organisations understand the basics of the act, whether you need to register or not and to suggest some good internal practice. Updated April 2017.

NCVO template board paper to help your trustees decide and document your decision on registration (free for NCVO members, 5.82 for non-members). Published August 2014.

Electoral Commission's Guidance for "non-party campaigners" explains how the rules will work. There is also a useful FAQ section.

The Campaign Collective has a guide to campaigning during a regulated period. Published January 2018.

ACEVO has published a briefing on General Election campaigning.

Bindmans solicitors have written a blog, "Snapping point? Why the surprise General Election presents unprecedented regulatory challenges for charities" analysing the act.

For more information, or to raise any questions or concerns you may have, please email advocacy@bond.org.uk.

Civil society response to the act

Bond, and many of our members, were a part of a diverse grouping of more than 130 civil society organisations who worked tirelessly to challenge the poorly drafted bill as it was rushed through parliament in 2013.

While key changes to the bill were agreed following two authoritative reports by the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement, Bond remains concerned the legislation could weaken civil society's ability to campaign on the big issues facing our society and planet.

The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement will monitor the impact the act has on civil society. Please record and share any examples or case studies of impact your organisation has via email advocacy@bond.org.uk.

Bond's role

Bond worked with our members, NCVO, ACEVO and other NGOs, umbrella organisations, think tanks and academics to ensure civil society responded in a strong and coordinated way to the lobbying bill. We: