12 February 2014

Lobbying update

After much deliberation, the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act (the ‘Act’) finally came into force on 30 January 2014.

The Act more closely regulates election campaign spending by those not standing for election or registered as political parties. Any campaigners need to register with the Electoral Commission if they spend more than £20,000 in England and £10,000 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on regulated activities in the regulated period prior to a general election. There is also a second spending limit of £9,750 on campaigns in any one parliamentary constituency in the regulated period.

Regulated activities include distributing election material to the public, as well as holding events, press conferences, and carrying out polling. Meanwhile, the regulated period, during which measures such as the spending limits will apply, will run from 19 September this year up until the 2015 general election on 7 May.

The Charity Commission plans to update its guidance on charities and elections, which sits alongside its broader CC9 publication on campaigning and political activity. The Commission has also urged charities to sign up for updates from the Electoral Commission, who are themselves expected to produce guidance on the Act by early July.

Category: Article