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The Lobbying Bill returns to the House of Lords today, Tuesday 28 January 2014, and the Commons shorty afterwards, as the 'ping pong' process follows the Commons decision to overturn key Lords amendments - ones with the overwhelming backing of charities, NGOs, voluntary organisations, civil society campaign groups, unions, and hundreds of thousands of members of the public who have been pressing parliamentarians on the issue.
A series of amendments are being tabled to the Lobbying Bill by Lord Harries today (15 January 2014), for which we offer a full briefing below.
As the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill comes up for the final votes at Westminster this week, an advert is appearing in The Times newspaper – supported by Ekklesia and 100 other civil society organisations – drawing parliamentarians' attention to the huge concern about this bill across the voluntary sector, and highlighting the 164,000+ members of the public who have signed it in just a few days.
Amendments in line with recommendations in the second Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement (CCSDE) report on the government's Transparency in Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill have been tabled by Lord Harries, the former Anglican Bishop of Oxford, for debate at Committee Stage in parliament on Monday 16 and Wednesday 18 December 2013.
Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford, has a fine and moving article in The Observer today - ostensibly about the dilemmas faced by Rowan Williams, but effectively reminding all Christians about something inherent in their vocation.