Lobbying Bill represents a real threat to quality of debate in this country says Oxfam
Jon Slater Head of News
3rd Sep 2013
Responding to Andrew Lansley's speech during the second reading of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, Max Lawson, Oxfam Head of Policy, said:
"The Lobbying Bill represents a real threat both to the quality of debate on public policy in this country and charities' ability to champion the needs of the poor and vulnerable through campaigns such as Make Poverty History.
"Ministers' assurance that they do not intend to curb charities' ability to speak out on legitimate issues of concern is welcome. But by extending election regulations to activities that are not intended to promote one party or another, the Government would prevent charities and other campaigners from engaging effectively in policy debates for 12 months before a general election.
"With legal opinion suggesting it will have a "chilling effect" on free speech and the Electoral Commission warning the proposed rules would be unworkable, it is time for the Government to listen and amend the Bill accordingly."
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