The Lobbying Act came into force today - will you fall foul of it?

Friday, 19 September 2014 - 4:03pm

Charities and campaigners have been discussing and querying the Lobbying Act 2014 for more than a year, trying to get to the bottom of how, if at all, it will affect their work. As the new Act comes into force today, we've published this briefing to share what we know (and what we don't) about how the Act will be put into practice.

Photograph: miuenski (Flickr)

Part 2 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 (AKA The Lobbying Act 2014) is in force as of today, designed to more closely regulate election campaign spending and activity by those not standing for election, or registered as political parties.

Known as ‘non-party campaigners’, this group can include charities, voluntary organisations and faith groups.

What has changed?

While charities must not be established for political purposes and must never engage in party political activity, there may be circumstances where spending on some campaigning activities mean they must register with the Electoral Commission as a non-party campaigner. This was already the case under the old rules but the new law has modified them substantially.

The Act doesn't change the definition of campaigning used in previous legislation, but there's a number of significant changes that need to be taken into account.

On the eve of the pre-election party conference season, we have published the attached briefing to unravel at least some of what the Act might mean for you in practice.

Of course it is early days, so there is still a great deal of uncertainty about precisely how the Act will be enforced and where lines will be drawn. We'll update it as and when we are able to clarify it further.

The Lobbying Act 2014 briefing

Overview of Part 2 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, which came into force on 19 September 2014. 

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