Minority of MPs oppose current campaigning rules

Twenty-seven per cent of MPs disagree with current Charity Commission guidance that says charities can campaign against government policies or the law only if it is incidental or subsidiary to their main activities.

The figures from, nfpSynergy's latest parliamentary survey, could prove disappointing for organisations lobbying for the rules governing political campaigning to be revised.

But the poll also revealed that the majority of MPs believe charities should be able do some form of political campaigning when it is relevant to their work.

The strongest support for the commission's guidance comes from the Conservative Party, the poll reveals. Liberal Democrat MPs are the most likely to back a change in the rules.

Matthew Sowemimo, campaigns manager at the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, which is lobbying the commission to clarify its campaigning guidance, said MPs should talk to charities in their constituencies.

"They might find that charities are concerned about whether or not they are going to get caught out in terms of how much campaigning they do relative to service delivery," he said.

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