The Transparency of Lobbying, Non Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act was granted Royal Assent on Thursday 30 January 2014.
While charities in Northern Ireland cannot be established for a political purpose, and must never support political parties or candidates for election, there are some circumstances in which a charity can legitimately engage in campaigning and political activity to influence public policy. This must only be in the context of supporting the delivery of its charitable purposes.
In order to assist and support charities in Northern Ireland to understand how the new rules may affect them, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland will work with the Electoral Commission and other charity regulators to produce new campaigning guidance for charities. This guidance will be published prior to the new rules coming into effect on 19 September 2014.
In the meantime, you may wish to read our current guidance on Campaigning and political activities, which is available online here.
The Electoral Commission has produced a series of campaigner updates, providing further information on what the Act will mean. These can be accessed below:
For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org