Charity Commission issues Regulatory Case Report over “nasty party” poll

The Charity Commission has today issued a Regulatory Case Report on the League Against Cruel Sports.

The Report concentrated on a YouGov poll comissioned by the charity last May, which asked “Do you think the Conservative pledge to hold a vote on whether to make the hunting with dogs of deer, hares and foxes legal again is MORE in keeping with a ‘nasty party’ or a ‘Compassionate Conservative’ party?”, and a subsequent Press Release issued by the charity.

According to the Charity Commission: “The Commission found that the press release and a question in the poll that was asked on behalf of the charity were party political in nature in that they could be seen to be critical of a national political party, contrary to charity law and the Commission’s guidance. The charity accepted that it must ensure that it does not engage in party political activity when running a campaign for or against a change in the law or government policy. The Commission provided the charity with advice and guidance regarding the legal and regulatory requirements that must be complied with by charities engaging in political activities.”

Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive of the League said the organisation accepted the Commission’s guidance and said he was encouraged by what the Charity Commission have advised is permitted activity by a charity. “The Commission has said that our Keep Cruelty History campaign, through which members of the public can find out where their candidates stand on repeal of the Hunting Act, is an entirely legitimate charitable activity. We’ll be focussing a great deal on this campaign in the run up to the election, but we have to admit surprise that the Commission has chosen to release its Reports on us and another charity just days before the likely calling of the General Election.”

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