14 February 2020

Bond statement in response to the reappointment of Baroness Barran as Minister for Civil Society 

Simon Starling, director of policy, advocacy and research at Bond the UK network for NGOs, said: 

“We welcome the reappointment of Baroness Barran as Minister for Civil Society and look forward to working with her to ensure government engagement with civil society is meaningful, inclusive and deliberative, particularly when making decisions affecting the people and issues civil society work on.

Civil society organisations play a critical role in ensuring the voices of the most vulnerable people are heard, but it’s getting harder and harder for them to do this within the constraints of the Lobbying Act and the restrictions included in government grants and contracts.”

Notes to Editor

  • In November 2019, 18 organisations including umbrella organisations Bond, NCVO and ACEVO called on the next government to: 
  1. Significantly revise the Lobbying Act, along the lines proposed by Lord Hodgson in his Government-commissioned review of the legislation. 
  2. Ensure that all departments engage with and involve CSOs throughout the policy-making process, listen to and value the insights that CSOs provide, and respect and support their right to speak out. 
  3. Ensure that all government grants and contracts support the right of CSOs to speak out, and facilitate open and inclusive policy engagement, and remove restrictions on campaigning. 
  4. Ensure the Charity Commission and Electoral Commission are working to enable a regulatory environment which supports the right of CSOs to campaign.
  5. Commit to upholding the right to protest. 
  • Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of 450 civil society organisations and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
  • For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected]