Hodgson review launches online survey of lobbying act for third-party campaigners

The multiple-choice survey, which closes on 7 June, asks charities and campaigning organisations how helpful the guidance of regulators has been and what they have done differently as a result of the act

Lord Hodgson
Lord Hodgson

Charities and campaigning organisations are being urged to complete an online survey to provide evidence for Lord Hodgson’s official review of part 2 of the lobbying act.

The act, which became law in January 2014 and tightens the spending rules for particular "regulated activities" by charities and other groups in pre-election periods, mandates that an official independent review of the effect of part 2 be published by November 2016. Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, the Conservative peer appointed to lead the review, has said he will publish this by the end of 2015.

Having begun the evidence trawl last month, the review team has launched a survey for election candidates, one for returning officers and another for third-party campaigners and others.

The introduction to the survey for third parties says: "The overriding aim of the review is to ensure the rich diversity of public participation and involvement that historically has characterised British elections is maintained, while not jeopardising public trust and confidence in the integrity of the electoral system."

Most of the survey questions are multiple-choice and ask for information such as how helpful the guidance from charity regulators and the Electoral Commission is, what campaigning a respondent has done and what they have done differently as a result of the act.

All responses to the survey will be treated anonymously, although respondents may put themselves forward to attend one of the round-table discussions that organisers of the review will arrange after the general election, as part of the next stage of evidence gathering.

The survey, which should take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete, closes on 7 June.

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