23 June - can charities engage?

The Governance Academy signposts trustees to the Charity Commission regulatory guidance on charities' engagement with the referendum and ponders over the controversy surrounding it!

Please take a look at the story on the gov.uk website from yesterday: Charity regulator issues guidance on EU referendum

Well, can charities engage or can't they?

Charity sector leaders have attacked the tone and in some cases, the content of the guidance:

"Negative and prescriptive approach". (Elizabeth Chamberlain, NCVO Policy Manager)

"Why should charities be silent, one way or another, especially if it relates to their charitable purposes...this guidance is basically trying to scare trustees into keeping quiet.." (Jay Kennedy, director of policy for the Directory of Social Change)

Rosamund McCarthy, partner at Bates Wells and Braithwaite stated: "We remain of the view that charities can take part in the referendum debate, where trustees, having assessed the risks, reasonably believe that doing so will advance the purposes of the charity".

The Governance Academy would be very interested to hear from any charities who have decided to engage!

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