New guidance 'seriously misleading', says Clark

New Charity Commission guidance on campaigning is misleading and has opened the door to political pressure groups being charities, according to shadow charities minister Greg Clark.

"The commission has proved to be naive in giving way to partisan pressure to open the door to political pressure groups becoming charities, as long as they are not open in backing a particular party," said Clark. "At a time when there are concerns about the transparency of political fundraising, this is of great concern."

The new guidance says political campaigning must not be a charity's "sole or continuing activity" (Third Sector, 5 March). Clark criticised it for not referring to the commission's previous 'dominant/ancillary rule', which is derived from case law.

"The commission has fudged the guidance and provided a seriously misleading guide to the law," said Clark.

The Charity Commission said it believed the guidance made the limitations on political activity clearer.

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