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Example campaigning scenarios

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Examples to illustrate how CC9 campaigning rules work in practice

Understanding how CC9 relates to your campaign can be difficult. From moderating social media comments to taking a photo with an MP, CC9 guidance will affect many aspects of your campaign journey. You must refer to the CC9 guidelines from the planning stage of your campaign and ensure your proposed tactics and messaging do not fall foul of the rules. As your campaign evolves and develops, you should consider CC9 alongside any change in direction.

Political activity: engaging with parliamentarians

Inviting MPs to your events

Your organisation has arranged for your local MP to attend your centenary celebration. Your local newspaper is covering the event and a photographer is taking photos for the website. Is this appropriate?

Yes. MPs are entitled to support and speak up for causes they care about. 

Lead up to elections: what are the rules?

There are two months left before the general election and your charity is planning a local hustings on issues facing your local community. What should you be mindful of?

It’s good practice to engage with all prospective parliamentary candidates and invite them to your hustings to make it clear that your organisation is neutral. Your hustings must cover a topic that relates to your charitable objectives. You must also be mindful of elections and referendums guidance and the Lobbying Act. See our guide on how to engage parliamentary candidates.

It is three months before a general election. A prospective parliamentary candidate, standing for election in your constituency, writes an article in support of your organisation’s work and manifesto. She has now included your recommendations in her campaign materials and puts your charity logo on the website. What action should you take?

Contact the candidate and ask for the logo to be removed immediately. Your charity must be perceived as politically neutral. However, it is legal to campaign on an issue that is included in a political party’s manifesto.

MPs and trusteeship

Your organisation is looking for a new trustee. The local MP has put herself forward as she has a background in disability rights. Is it appropriate to accept the offer?

Yes – MPs are allowed to speak up for charities and many are trustees. However, they must be mindful not use the charity as a means to advance their political ambitions. Charities must be able to demonstrate that they are independent to maintain public trust and confidence in the sector.

Staying neutral online

Twitter: personal bio

A member of staff has this Twitter bio: ‘Daniel, Fundraising Officer @VolunteerNow! Member of @Conservatives, Lover of all things bicycle and dogs.’ Is this legal?

No. The Twitter profile is personal, but linked to the charity. This would compromise the political neutrality of VolunteerNow!, which is not lawful under CC9 or the Lobbying Act during the regulated period.

Your bio on your personal Twitter states – ‘all views are my own, retweets are not endorsements’. Can you tweet/retweet party political messages?

If your Twitter does not state where you work then this is acceptable. If your bio states which charity you work for, then this is not acceptable – even with a disclaimer.

Facebook: monitoring interactions

Your charity has a Facebook page and you have shared an image outlining how the policies of the major political parties will impact your beneficiaries. A supporter has commented: 'the Tories and Labour haven’t done enough. We need an alternative NOW.' What should you do?

Delete the comment as soon as you notice it. Political statements, even by your supporters, cannot be associated with your charity. 

Page last edited Jan 26, 2018

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