Futures Forum: Concerns for campaigning: Lobbying Bill reaches the Lords
the decision by the government to put the bill on hold has been generally welcomed:
Lobbying bill gets six-week pause
The government has agreed a six-week pause of the aspects of the lobbying bill that concern the voluntary sector to allow for wider consultation.
Lord Ramsbotham, a crossbench peer, tabled a motion on Monday evening - ahead of the committee stage of the House of Lords yesterday afternoon - calling for parts of the bill to be withdrawn and scrutinised by a select committee, which would report back in three months.
After securing a six-week pause from government, he withdrew the motion. Speaking in the Lords, Ramsbotham said: “I fear that the way that this bill is being handled will seriously damage the trust that the voluntary sector has in the government, which is something that the alleged champions of the Big Society can ill afford to lose.”
He told the Lords that after he met with the Leader of the House, the minister handling the bill Lord Wallace of Saltaire (Liberal Democrat), and the leader of the opposition yesterday, Lord Wallace agreed to consult with Lord Harries, who chaired the Commission on Civil Society. Lords Wallace and Harries would consider the issues that had raised concerns and produce a report ahead of concluding the committee stage for part two of the bill.
Lord Wallace said that the two days for the committee stage of part two of the bill would not take place before 16 December and in that six-week period “I, and my colleagues in government responsible for the bill, will consult widely with all the interested parties.” He added: “We intend to draw on the work of the Commission on Civil Society, chaired so ably by the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, and to build on it so that the charity sector has a proper opportunity to explain to the government its concerns not only with this bill but, as we discovered in our conversations, with the current statute electoral law in this area, in particular the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.”
Tories put Lobbying Bill on hold over fears of embarrassing defeat in House of Lords - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
This leaked letter shows the Government is on the back foot defeding the Gagging Bill | Greenpeace UK
However, Peter Oborne of the Telegraph has a different take on event:
David Cameron’s great lobbying purge fails the 'Mandelson test’
Thanks to a loophole, the former Labour minister’s clients can remain anonymous
Photo: ANDREW FOX
By Peter Oborne