The government needs to listen to charities, churches and unions, and to amend substantially those provisions in its lobbying bill which would curtail the legitimate advocacy functions of voluntary organisations, says the Christian think-tank Ekklesia.
The Electoral Commission which was not consulted by the government before it developed its controversial Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, which is in Committee stage in the House of Lords. The EC sent a briefing to peers yesterday (4 November 2013), backing a pause. It reads as follows:
The government's new lobbying bill has united charities, unions and other NGOs - as well as civil rights activists - in condemnation for measures that will do too little to combat serious corporate interference in politics, but will provide the pretext to limit and intimidate legitimate policy-based work by non-government and non-party political bodies.