Lords to debate lobbying bill amendment to exempt charities

The clause has been put forward by peers including Lord Phillips of Sudbury, whose previous amendment was withdrawn

Lord Phillips of Sudbury
Lord Phillips of Sudbury

Peers will today debate an amendment designed to give charities an exemption from measures set out in the lobbying bill.

The government last week said that it would make several changes to the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, including increasing the spending thresholds above which organisations must register with the Electoral Commission, in an attempt to alleviate charities’ concerns.

Voluntary sector organisations are worried that the bill will curtail their ability to speak out on issues that could be regarded as party political in the run-up to elections.

An amendment to exempt charities from the measures will be debated today. It has been tabled by peers including the charity lawyer Lord Phillips of Sudbury, who is a Liberal Democrat, and Lord Mackay of Clashfern, the former Lord Chancellor,

Phillips tabled a similar amendment at an earlier stage of the bill but it was withdrawn.

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