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UK minister warns charities to park their political views if they want to lobby government

 

MP warns charities to remain impartial when campaigning

Nigel Huddleston, the UK minister for civil society, has revealed he has trawled social media accounts of charity leaders to find out their political views.

He made the revelation at a speaking engagement in London during which he warned charity bosses to park their party political views or else they could get “into a bit of trouble.”

Huddleston said that in the past he had searched the social media feeds of charity leaders to find they have “very, very, very strong party political views, on both sides of the political spectrum”, but who lobby him “in a perfectly objective way” once they were together.

Asked if he thought the government’s rules on lobbying were controversial, he responded: “I think it is pretty simple and straightforward here.

"You should not be involved in party political campaigning, and it is perfectly fine to campaign on policy areas so long as it is aligned with your objectives as a charity.” 

He added: “Quite frankly, we have all got our own party political views and opinions, but also we are all professionals. 

“Sometimes, when you are conducting your job, you have to park that partisan thing at the door and come in and do a professional job. 

“I expect people to do that. And if they don’t, then don’t be surprised if you get into a bit of trouble, or people complain.”

He added that the relationship between government and the voluntary sector was “in a good state, but it could be a lot better”. 

 

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