Home / Insights / Blog / The Lobbing Act: Freedom of Speech ‘Clearly Damaged’

The Lobbing Act: Freedom of Speech ‘Clearly Damaged’

The Lobbing Act: Freedom of Speech ‘Clearly Damaged’

The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement was established in September 2013 following concerns about the impact of Part 2 of the Lobbying Act (the Act). The Commission has published four reports, with the latest of these being circulated earlier this month.

The report expresses the Committee’s concerns that there was no evidence to show that the Act was necessary to prevent undue influence on elections, and yet there is considerable evidence to demonstrate the negative impact the Act has had on charities speaking out about issues of public concern ahead of the election. Many charities also highlighted the unnecessary administrative burden the Act placed on them.

The report calls for Part 2 of the Act to be repealed or, if this does not happen before the devolved administration elections in May 2016, suspended, pending Parliament’s serious consideration of the concerns. Finally, the report suggests a number of amendments to definitions, thresholds, exemptions, and for the Electoral Commission (the statutory regulator of non-party campaigning) to provide detailed case studies to make its guidance more accessible to charities.

For additional information or to discuss your charity governance requirements with one of our charity law team, call us today on 01895 207809 or email charities@ibblaw.co.uk.