Freedom to Campaign: Changing Legislation or Party Policy

Often, to get the change you want, a change in the law is needed.

What you can do

  • Campaign for a change in the law, where such change would support the charity’s purposes.
  • Support or oppose a Bill if the campaign focuses on why the Bill should or should not become law, providing this is not Party political.
  • Run a campaign whilst Parliament debates the Bill.
  • Ask members of the public to lobby their MP to support or oppose a Bill, providing this is not Party political.
  • A charity can privately lobby on Party policy but can only involve the public when this involves supporting or opposing legislation.
  • Campaign to ensure that existing laws are observed.
  • Support specific policies advocated by political parties if it would help achieve the charitable purposes.
  • Have stands, fringes or receptions at party conferences. It is best to go to at least the two main party conferences, if you are intending to go to any.

If you do this, you may break charity law or need to register as a third party campaigner

  • Exist purely to secure or oppose a change in the law or policy.
  • Focus on a political party or its members when campaigning to oppose a Bill.
  • Ask members of the public to vote a particular way because of a party’s position on a Bill.
  • Continue to campaign after a Bill has passed into law if there is an upcoming election.
  • Hold events for the public at party conferences, hand out materials to the public or advertise in a public place.
  • Advertise in fringe guides in a way that might influence how someone will vote.
  • Go to just one party’s annual conference.

IN BRIEF:  A charity can campaign to change the law or policy, by influencing politicians, but must stay politically neutral in the public eye.

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