Clause 2 — Meaning of "charitable purpose"

Part of Point of Order – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 25th October 2006.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt PPS (Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Secretary of State), Department for International Development 2:45 pm, 25th October 2006

As the hon. Gentleman has acknowledged, it is not practical to define exactly what we mean by "religious beliefs". It would be completely wrong to include a schedule to the Bill listing religious beliefs for the purpose of the Bill. Even among humanism, atheism and agnosticism, there are lots of different views, and different organisations may adopt slightly different approaches. I do not think that we should to seek to define "religious beliefs" too closely.

Finally, I have always believed that one of the problems with the funding of political parties is that the public benefit that political parties provide to this country is not recognised in law or charitable law. On another occasion, perhaps we can examine whether political parties are covered by subsection (2), although that may be a discussion for another day.