Lobbying Bill still a threat to free speech

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Commenting on the amendments that the government has announced it will make to the today (9 January 2014), Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, said:

"It is good to see the government beginning to respond to overwhelming concern from charities, faith groups, civic organisations and the public to legislation which will still – even with the kind of modifications they are now suggesting – amount to a severe restriction on non-party campaigning in the run-up to an election, while also imposing unnecessary red tape and creating an unacceptable data grab.

"The unworkability of the Lobbying Bill in it current form and the threat to democracy and free speech that it constitutes should be a concern to politicians from all parties, who now have the opportunity to urge the government towards a fundamental rethink on legislation that the Electoral Commission, senior lawyers and a host of expert commentators have severe worries about."

* More on the Lobbying Bill from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/lobbyingbill