One in 10 MPs would permit charities to be party political

Ten per cent of members agreed in a survey that charities, like businesses, should be permitted to support political parties

Houses of Parliament
Houses of Parliament
  • This story was corrected on 15 November - see final paragraph

One in 10 MPs believes charities should be allowed to support political parties, according to a new survey.

A poll of 150 MPs by sector consultancy nfpSynergy found that 10 per cent agreed with the proposition. Sixty-three per cent agreed it was right that businesses could support political parties.

Businesses are permitted to support political parties, but charities are not. Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said the desire of most MPs to retain the ban was out of date and illogical.

"Like businesses, charities operate within society and thus should rightly seek to influence the political environment," he said. "Like businesses, why shouldn't they also be allowed, by law, to express their opinions on relevant party policy, and even provide transparent financial backing?"

The Charity Parliamentary Monitor research, conducted between May and June, revealed that 15 per cent of Tory MPs and 8 per cent of Labour MPs who responded believed charities should be allowed to back a political party. No Lib Dem MPs polled agreed.

Eighty-seven per cent of Conservative MPs, but only 36 per cent of Labour MPs, thought it was right that businesses could support political parties. Fifty-three per cent of Liberal Democrats believed businesses should be able to back parties.

  • The figures for the percentage of Tory and Labour MPs who believed charities should be able to back a political party are round the wrong way. The story should say that 15 per cent of Labour MPs and 8 per cent of Tory MPs held this view.

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