Comments made by Paula Sussex, chief executive of the Charity Commission, have given rise to the impression that the commission has announced a review of our guidance on Charities and Campaigning, CC9. (Paula Sussex was speaking at the APPG on Civil Society and Volunteering on Tuesday 18 November).
We would like to reassure charities that our guidance on campaigning stands. Charities can and should feel confident in following CC9 when they plan their campaigning and political activity ahead of the general election.
Paula Sussex explained that the commission will be monitoring charities’ political activity in the run-up to the election, as is our usual practice. This year, we have established a rapid response case handling system, that will allow us to follow up any concerns that are raised about charities’ activity swiftly, giving charities and the public confidence as to what is, and what is not acceptable. This is especially important in light of the passing of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act.
Findings from our election case work, along with the impact of the Lobbying Act, will have to be reviewed after the election. Such a review, and the consideration of other issues relating to the current guidance, may or may not recommend changes to the guidance. If we do consider revisions should be made to CC9, we will say so publicly and consult widely.