Huppert acts to correct Lobbying Bill and protect charities

5 September, 2013 1 Comment

MP Julian Huppert has acted to change some of the wording of the proposed Lobbying Bill to make sure that while it tightens up on big money politics, it makes sure charities not electioneering are still able to lobby government.

The Bill aims to stop wealthy organisations promoting or opposing candidates or parties with large sums of money and will make the whole issue more transparent.

Julian also wants to make sure that the lobby rules cover not just politicians and senior servants but Ministers’ special advisors as well and that the definition of “electioneering” is not changed by the new legislation.

He said: “The government should either accept these amendments or come up with suitable alternatives to correct the Bill.

“I want to make sure that while we are agreeing to new legislation that will stop wealthy organisations spending large sums of money to promote or oppose specific candidates or parties, we don’t stop charities being able to lobby on issues if they are not electioneering.

“I have discussed this with a number of charities and organisations and have put forward these amendments which will hopefully address those concerns and other issues which I am not happy about. The wording of the Bill is not yet right and I will not support it until it is fixed.”

The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill would set a £390,000 cap on the amount any organisation – excluding political parties – could spend across the UK during elections.

It is designed to give people more confidence in the way third parties interact with the political system and where they campaign to support a political party or its candidates they will be required to fully record and disclose their expenditure on those campaigns.

 

Leave a comment

  • Elaine G: September 8, 2013 4:37 pm

    Great that you have spoken out and acted against the wording of this bill.

    I understand that earlier this week Andrew Lansley MP circulated a “myth buster” which purported to address the widespread concerns that the Lobbying Bill.

    A huge range of non-party political organisations are warning that it could have a chilling effect on their ability to contribute to the debate. Andrew Lansley still seems to be claiming there’s nothing to worry about.

    This analysis of Lansley’s claims from an electoral law expert may be useful in your continued efforts:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/lansley-myth-buster

    Please can you assure me that you will be attending the committee stage debate next Tuesday? Will you vote in favour of amendments that genuinely address these serious concerns?

    I support greater transparency and accountability in the political process, and would like to see the influence of “Big Money” over politics reduced. I’d support a new law which genuinely did this, rather than a law which gags campaign groups but leaves Rupert Murdoch and millionaire party donors untouched.

    Thanks.

Inappropriate and irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin’s discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.