Charity Commission EU referendum “negative” guidance

New regulatory guidance from the Charity Commission around charity engagement with the EU referendum is proving controversial.

The official news item says:

Political activity can be a legitimate activity for charities and some may want to engage with the referendum. However, the guidance sets out the threshold necessary to justify any charitable activity on this specific issue.

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EU referendum campaign guidance now mentions charities

The Electoral Commission has published the second stage of its guidance for campaigning around the EU referendum, covering donations, loans and donor permissibility.

Updated guidance on ‘Campaigning and registering for EU referendum campaigners’ (pdf, 235KB) also includes information for charities who are considering whether to register as campaigners. This appears to be the relevant paragraph (on page 8):

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Campaigning around the EU referendum – update

As flagged up in advance, the Electoral Commission has published the first stage of its guidance on the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.

There are rules campaigners must follow on campaign spending, donations and reporting in the run up to the referendum.

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