Charities failed to speak up during election because of lobbying act, report says

Parliament: charities 'feared repercussions of speaking up'
Parliament: charities 'feared repercussions of speaking up'

Many charities cut down on or withdrew completely from speaking out on issues in the run-up to the general election because they feared they might fall foul of the lobbying act, according to a report from the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement. It says the impact of the act amounted to "an infringement on legitimate democratic engagement ahead of the election". The commission, which is chaired by the crossbench peer Lord Harries of Pentregarth, was set up in 2013. Its fourth report said that uncertainty about the regulations meant that many activities aimed at raising awareness and generating discussion before the election did not take place. It called on the government to repeal part 2 of the act, which particularly affects charities and campaigning groups.

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