I asked the Charities Minister about campaiging and political activity by charities. I want to strengthen guidance to ensure that more charity donations go to helping people on the frontline.
Charlie:What assessment he has made of the scope of the Charity Commission guidance on campaigning and political activity; and if he will make a statement.
Brooks Newmark (Charities Minister): Charities play an important role in shaping Government policy. Indeed, Departments are working on the development and implementation of many our policies. However, it has long been the case that the law and Charity Commission guidance prohibits charities from party political campaigning and activities. I believe that that is the right position.
Charlie: Does the Minister nevertheless agree that it would be right to return to the Charity Commission guidance of 2004, which ensured that charities focused on social justice and helping people in need on the front line, not on big marketing budgets and playing party politics?
Brooks Newmark (Charities Minister): The Charity Commission's guidance is clear about what charities can and cannot do and reflects the commission's view of the underlying law. The guidance was last reviewed in 2009. The Charity Commission has said that it keeps all its guidance under review to ensure that it remains relevant and up to date, but it has no immediate plans to amend its guidance on campaigning and political activity.
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