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Hundreds of charities are uniting to stop the Government’s
Lobbying Bill. Can you help?
The Lobbying Bill (also known as the Gagging Law) has now passed through the House of Commons and the House of Lords to become an Act of Parliament. Despite some important changes as the result of our campaigning, we are very concerned about the impact it will have on Oxfam's ability to campaign and fight poverty around the world.
The Act has been dubbed by campaigners as the 'Gagging Law' because it stifles public debate in the run-up to an election. It means, for example, that if Oxfam campaigns on a policy that impacts on the lives of poor people ‐ such as climate change or tax avoidance ‐ and one political party supports our policies but another doesn't, we could be seen as campaigning 'for electoral purposes'. We would then be subject to strict regulation and constraints, even though our campaigning has nothing to do with party politics or the preference of one candidate over
Lots of the problems with this Bill arose because the Government undertook very little consultation with charities or other groups. The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement was set up to consult fully with a number of prominent charities, campaign groups, academics, think tanks and online networks. Their evidence was reported to MPs and members of the House of Lords in an attempt to highlight concerns of civil society and improve the legislation.
Due to the great work of campaigners across the UK, and the work of the Commission on Civil Society, we did secure some key concessions:
But, fundamentally, we are disappointed by the final legislation, and what it could mean for our campaigning in an election year. Oxfam will now assess what this means for the future campaigns we work on together. We do know one thing ‐ we are exceptionally proud of all the fantastic campaigning against the lobbying bill, and for all your amazing efforts in bringing this issue to MPs' attention.
I'm afraid the Lobbying Bill is now the Lobbying Act.
It was a suitably dramatic finish to the end of the campaign to fight the Lobbying Bill: The House of Lords voted exactly equally on a key amendment we wanted (245 for and 245 against)... Read more
The Lobbying Bill: YES there are STILL things wrong with it, NO we're still not happy and NO the campaign isn't over.
Since we last blogged about the 'Lobbying Bill' we've had some real moments of success and we... Read more
Responding to the passing of a key amendment removing most staff costs from campaign spending limits in the Lobbying Bill, Mark Goldring, Oxfam Chief Executive, said:
"It is ironic that it... Read more
Responding to the Government's proposed amendments to the Lobbying Bill, Mark Goldring, Oxfam Chief Executive, said:
Today, Tuesday 10 December, loads of activists and campaigners from across the charity sector are lobbying MPs on the 'Gagging Bill'.
You can keep up to date with everything that's going on here:
... Read more
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