Lobbying Act now in force: reminder to charities to check whether they need to register

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Charities should be aware that the Lobbying Act is now in force and they should act now if they need to register with the Electoral Commission under the new rules.

The Act, which came into force on 19th September 2014, requires 'non-party campaigners' to register with the Electoral Commission if they are planning to spend over £20,000 in England or £10,000 in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales on certain 'campaigning' activities in the run-up to the general election, which will be held on 7th May 2015.

Whether your charity needs to register depends on the purpose of the activities you are planning (the 'purpose test') and your proposed audience (the 'public test'). Full guidance on these tests and whether the Lobbying Act will apply to your activities, as well as details of how to register are available on the Electoral Commission website.