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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Commission warns charities in the run up to the General Election

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has warned charities not to break charity law in advance of the forthcoming General Election.

Highlighting its Political activity and campaigning guidance for charities, the Commission has urged all charities not to do anything that undermines their independence and neutrality when it comes to party politics.

With an election set for Thursday 12 December 2019, the rapid nature of the campaign will leave little time for reflection, meaning that charities should review the Commission’s guidance as soon as possible, particularly if they engage politically.

Examples from the guidance include that charities should avoid:

  • supporting or opposing a political party or politician, verbally or financially
  • endorsing a political party based on one policy position
  • Participating in or running events to which all candidates or parties have not been invited
  • sharing party political social media posts using official charity social media channels, or too closely echoing the language or slogans employed by political parties
  • hiring out venues to political parties at a non-commercial rate
  • allowing charity trustees, staff or members who may also be elected representatives or party activists access to charity assets for non-charity related business.

ENDS

For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email: shirley.kernan@charitycommissionni.org.uk 

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.