Charities cannot use DCLG grants to lobby government, says Pickles

Charities cannot use DCLG grants to lobby government, says Pickles

Charities cannot use DCLG grants to lobby government, says Pickles5

Governance | Pauline Carnet | 2 Mar 2015

Charities and other organisations will not be allowed to use Department for Communities and Local Government grants to lobby Parliament, government or political parties, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said last week.

In a statement published on, Pickles said that using taxpayers’ funds to lobby government wastes public money and undermines transparency.

DCLG said organisations granted funds are still allowed to use their own funds for lobbying activities, if they are transparent about it.

However Neil Cleeveley, chief executive at local infrastructure body Navca, said that Pickles’ view of charities was unfair.

“I think this side-swipe at charities is uncalled-for and best viewed in the context of the imminent general election,” he said. “Most charities speak up not for themselves but for people who are frequently ignored by politicians.”

First no-lobbying clauses

The Department is the first to introduce a no-lobbying clause in all grant agreements.

Pickles said the move came after a small number of local enterprise partnerships were found to be hiring public affairs consultancies to lobby the government and parliament on their behalf.

He also cited The Sock Doctrine, a report by a free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which said charities often use grants to lobby the government for more money.

Pickles said: “If external groups are lucky enough to receive grants or win contracts with taxpayers’ money, it shouldn’t be spent on lobbying for more taxpayers’ money or more red tape.

“There’s nothing wrong with private organisations using their own money to hire commercial firms for advice, provided it’s done in an open and transparent manner,” he added.


John Cresswell-Plant
8 Mar 2015

The Lobbying Act is a hark-back not to Victorian Times but to measures such as The Gagging Acts [] and The Six Acts [] brought in during Georgian Times

Alec Sandison
2 Mar 2015

And there I was thinking we lived in a democracy where free speech was allowed ...

John Cresswell-Plant
9 Mar 2015
Response to [Alec Sandison]

If things remain unchanged, I believe we soon won't have secret ballots

Carl Allen
2 Mar 2015

It is time for this magazine to make public a list of members of Parliament/Ministers making proven, unproven or unsubstantiated allegations of this sort.

James Makepeace
Private individual
27 Feb 2015

If anyone has a long way to go before achieving "transparency" it is Eric Pickles. This Tory "grand porker" is becoming ever more dictatorial in dishing out rulings across the UK... and expecting, rather like some Stasi Gauleiter in another age to be obeyed without question... even when some of his half baked "policies" are not only made-up on the spur of the moment to suit political ends,. but also actually illegal (as at least one judge has recently ruled).
This phenomenon of excessive Tory power is swiftly becoming a scar on the face of British democracy, making rulings on all manner of things, over-ruling local Government and running brass-faced directly against the weight of public opinion.... when it suits him and his political cronies and sponsors.

If he is allowed to continue unhindered I predict that his actions will gradually become outrageously excessive and, sooner or later, there will have to be a reckoning.
Pickles operates the most outrageous double standards... This week he has stopped a development of 100 houses in Buckinghamshire because they will deface the landscape, and yet a few weeks ago, overturning a unanimous local government planning refusal and running directly contrary to overwhelming local opinion, he waved through an enormous mass waste burning plant, big enough to swallow Gloucester Cathedral whole, in the middle of the rural Severn Vale, directly in front of the Cotswold Scarp AONB. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that the local proponents of this appalling scheme happen to be Tories, nor that the "selected contractors" happen to include a major donor to Tory Party funds.

Double Standards is only one of the sins committed by Pickles and his shady cohorts... We have one precious opportunity to get rid of him and his scheming Tory friends, both at national and local government level, when the ballot boxes next appear.

Labour made a mess of things, UKIP and Lib Dems are inconsequential and nothing more than an option for a protest vote, but the Conservatives have clearly now enjoyed real power for too long.... and the dodgy deals and questionable practises are starting to multiply.

We should vote them out of power while we still can. Our most valuable power is not the ability to bring Labour back in, Milliband himself is a disaster waiting to happen)... it is the very fact that we can vote to choose between these shysters ! We must use that vote, and retain our right in the future to determine when enough is truly enough !

Pickles really is now an embarrassment to the process of UK government ... he must go !


[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear


  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

HMRC assures charities of ‘soft landing’ approach in Common Reporting Standard guidance

26 Aug 2016

HMRC has published new Common Reporting Standard guidance, which assures charities that it will implement...

Access Foundation to invest endowment in social investment

24 Aug 2016

Access: the Foundation for Social Investment has announced it will put its endowment from the Cabinet...

Charity investigated after it did not know its own income

23 Aug 2016

The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into a charity that underestimated its own annual income...

Save the Children launches £1m fundraising appeal for search and rescue boat

26 Aug 2016

Save the Children UK has launched a £1m fundraising appeal to outfit and support a search and rescue...

Royal British Legion criticised by FRSB after fundraisers misled public

25 Aug 2016

The Royal British Legion and a face-to-face fundraising agency breached the Code of Fundraising Practice,...

Pell & Bales goes into liquidation with the loss of more than 100 jobs

24 Aug 2016

Telephone fundraising agency Pell & Bales has been placed into liquidation by its creditors, less...

Free HR system to launch for charities

25 Aug 2016

A free human resources system designed for charities will launch next month and is currently being trialled...

RSPCA ranked fourth in global charity social media brand index

19 Aug 2016

A new social media index has said that the RSPCA has the fourth best digital charity brand globally, with...

Charity Commission retracts story which indicated it would no longer publish all accounts

18 Aug 2016

The Charity Commission has published a news story announcing it will no longer display documents received...

Join the discussion


Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<