Paddling furiously… where are we on the lobbying bill?

Much like a swan gliding across a lake while paddling furiously beneath the water, NCVO has been working hard on the lobbying bill over the last few weeks. Find below a short update on where we are today (25 September).

So what have we been doing? And what’s the current state of play?

At committee stage the government committed to bringing forward an amendment that would address the concerns of charities and other voluntary organisations.

Since then, we have been on a marathon of meetings! The bill team, the Electoral Commission, many of our members, and other umbrella bodies. It seems there is a general consensus across government, the regulator and the sector that the new rules should not adversely affect charities and voluntary organisations that are simply active in trying to change policy for the advancement of their own mission.

We haven’t seen the precise wording but following our conversations with the officials at Cabinet Office we do understand the direction of travel they are likely to take. In the meantime, we have written to Andrew Lansley setting out very clearly our expectations for what the governments’ amendments should achieve.

We are calling on government to meet a range of organisations from the sector, alongside NCVO, the Electoral Commission, and the Charity Commission to ensure the new wording is fit for purpose. This should include a range of organisations engaged in campaigning activity – both charities and voluntary organisations, of all shapes and sizes in order to ensure we get to a workable solution. While we haven’t seen the precise wording we do understand the direction of travel they are likely to take.

Where next?

The government has committed to publishing amendments to the bill by Wednesday 3 October. NCVO will be consulting our legal advisers and a range of member organisations in order to ensure any proposed solution works for the full range of charitable and voluntary organisations engaged in campaigning activity.

The bill will then be back in the House of Commons on Tuesday 8 October and Wednesday 9 October for its final stages. NCVO will produce a briefing for all MPs setting out any remaining concerns we have with the bill.

We expect the bill to move quite quickly into the House of Lords and we have already begun a process of contacting and briefing key figures. It’s important we continue to keep the pressure up – this bill is moving at breakneck speed through Parliament and we are yet to be satisfied that the many issues with the bill will be solved in time.

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For those that want to be actively involved in this work (receiving more regular updates from NCVO, actively briefing MPs and Lords), get in touch with me or contact Elizabeth Chamberlain.

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Chloe Stables Chloe Stables, External Relations Manager, reflects on the latest political developments affecting the voluntary and community sector.

2 Responses to Paddling furiously… where are we on the lobbying bill?

  1. Pingback: Update on the lobbying law | VoluntaryNews

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