23 September 2019

Today, the Electoral Commission released its long-awaited updated guidance to help UK NGOs and charities understand the laws around on political campaigning in the run-up to elections and referendums. 

Bond has been working with members and other UK umbrella organisations, including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo), for the last few years to secure clarity in order to ensure charities are supported in their efforts to campaign with confidence. 

Mike Wright, Director of Communications and Member Services at Bond, the UK network for NGOs said: 

“We welcome the new guidance and it is great to see that the Electoral Commission has listened to the feedback of Bond and our members. We hope that the further clarity and tone of the guidance will go some way to reassure civil society that it can campaign with more confidence during elections.

Whilst the guidance is a helpful step forward in the short-term, Bond will continue to call for the undemocratic Lobbying Act to be reformed. At a minimum, we want the government to make it easier for charities to work out if their activities are regulated by the act or not under the “purpose test”.  The regulated period should also be reduced from 12 to 4 months before an election and we need the rules to be simplified on joint campaigning so that they encourage collaboration rather than stop it.” 

ENDS

  1. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development, including Oxfam, Christian Aid and WaterAid. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
  2. For further information or interviews please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected]