Politics: Lobby briefing - Ed Miliband, third sector minister

Will the Charities Bill get through before Christmas?

We've always said it was our intention to get it through in this session of Parliament. That remains our intention.

What are the most important lessons you have learnt so far?

I always identify, first of all, the inspiring people I have met in the sector and the work they do. Second, the importance of delivery on tangible questions relating to the way government operates as a partner on issues such as the Compact. Third, the capacity of the Office of the Third Sector to represent a positive voice for the sector in government.

Do small organisations get adequate access to government?

That's what's interesting about the third sector review. I've done some of the big regional consultations, but I've also done sub-regional events - one in particular, in London, was designed precisely to ensure that we got to small organisations.

I think it's always a challenge to make sure we hear the voices of small organisations - that's partly why we have designed the consultation that way, but we obviously need to keep working at that.

This is an important issue and we are taking steps to address this.

When will the Compact chief executive be announced?

That is a matter for the chairman, John Stoker, but I understand it will be soon.

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