Letter to political parties calling for repeal of the Lobbying Act

19 February 2015

In a letter sent to the leaders of all parties represented in Westminster, Bond along with over 150 other organisations called today for a commitment to repeal the Lobbying Act.

Dear party leaders,

We are writing to ask that you commit your party to repealing the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, apart from the raised thresholds for registering with the Electoral Commission, in the first session of Parliament after the election.

Over 150 NGOs representing millions of people and a very wide range of issues, campaigned against the Bill as it passed through parliament.

The recent Harries Commission report ‘Impacts of the Lobbying Act on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement’ found that 63% of charities and campaign groups asked think the Act will make some or all of their organisational or charitable objectives harder to achieve; that it is having a chilling effect on them speaking out in line with their organisation's objectives; and that it is tying charities and campaign groups in red tape.

Repeal in the first session of Parliament would prevent the legislation affecting future elections, including those due to take place in 2016 in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

If the Lobbying Act was repealed, the previous inadequate legislation, the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 would stand.

We ask that PPERA be reviewed and that new legislation be consulted on and brought forward within eighteen months of a new government.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Bond
Age UK

Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations
Article 19
Christian Aid
Compassion in World Farming
Democracy Matters
Friends of the Earth
Greenpeace
Health Poverty Action
International Aid Alliance
Malaria Consortium
Muslim Council of Scotland
National Pensioners Convention
National Union of Students
Oxfam
Ramblers
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
War on Want
Salvation Army
38 Degrees?

This is a small selection of the over 150 charities that signed this letter.