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Charity Commission rebukes League Against Cruel Sports for anti-Conservative political activity

The League Against Cruel Sports has been censured by the Charity Commission for abusing its charitable status to engage in party political activity.

Last summer the organisation had commissioned an opinion poll in which it asked the question:

"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?"

Following a complaint, the Charity Commission found that both the asking of the question and then the press release issued with the results 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".

In reference to the poll, the Commission stated that it "appeared to be designed to elicit a particular response for the purpose of criticising the party" and that "the wording chosen by the charity was party political in character and went beyond the sort of statement that a charity can properly make."

The full adjudication is here.

Jonathan Isaby