The Independent on Sunday has a news report and a leader article about this.
First the news report:
Exclusive: right-wing Christian group pays for Commons researchers
An evangelical Christian charity leading opposition to new laws on embryo research is funding interns in MPs’ offices, an investigation by The Independent on Sunday has discovered.
Christian Action, Research and Education (Care) faces inquiries into its lobbying activities by the Charity Commission and the House of Commons standards watchdog after accessing Parliament at the highest levels.
Twelve research assistants sponsored by Care are Commons pass-holders, allowing them unrestricted access to Westminster in the run-up to highly sensitive and potentially close votes on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill next month. At least two MPs face questions after they omitted to declare they have Care-sponsored staff.
Charities are allowed to carry out political campaigning, but Charity Commission rules state they “must not give support or funding to a political party, or to a candidate or politician”.
Then, the leader column: Leading article: An unsuitable case for charity
The Charity Commission guidance on political activity could hardly be clearer: “A charity must not give support or funding to a political party, nor to a candidate or politician.” Our report today that Care, the Christian charity, has been paying the salaries of research assistants for at least eight MPs appears on the face of it to suggest that the law has been broken…
The whole matter is discussed at greater length on the Church Times blog under Charity Commission investigates evangelical Parliamentary interns.