Amended lobbying act guidance

The Electoral Commission has made amendments to its original guidance on the lobbying act.

Under the lobbying act, charities must register as non-party campaigners with the Electoral Commission if they spend more than a given amount of money on certain public campaigning activities that could be interpreted as attempting to procure electoral success.

The act passed into law in January and the commission published full guidance on compliance with it in July, which is available at

The commission was strongly criticised for the lack of clarity in the guidance, and has now published a single-page document listing eight amendments, which is available to download at

Four of the amendments clarify that campaigning activities are likely to be classed as regulated activity if they can reasonably be seen as intended to influence voters.

One amendment removes the commission’s assertion that registering as a non-party campaigner is a straightforward and short process, while another is a formatting issue.

The first regulated period under the new laws starts on 19 September and lasts until the general election on 7 May 2015.