Restrictions on protests around Parliament Square may go

Tomorrow's Queen's Speech could include bill abolishing restrictions, says NCVO

A bill abolishing restrictions on protests around Parliament could be included in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, according to the NCVO.

Under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, people who want to protest in Parliament Square must first get permission from the police.

However, the Constitutional Renewal Bill, which was included in the Government's draft legislative programme earlier this year, would repeal that requirement.

Belinda Pratten, head of policy at the NCVO, said: "The right to protest in Parliament Square has been a part of our civil liberties for centuries, and government's attempt to limit this right undermines democracy."

Meanwhile, Acevo believes that former Home Secretary David Blunkett's call for the Government to support an opt-out system for Gift Aid has raised hopes that this reform will be included in the Queen's Speech.

The chief executives body also hopes the speech will announce measures to create a social investment bank and social impact bonds, which would allow charities delivering government contracts to raise cash in advance from private investors.

Hannah Terry, head of policy and public affairs at the Charities Aid Foundation, said she hoped reforms of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme would be announced that would see improved protection for charities against bank collapses. But she said it was unlikely to be included in the Queen's Speech, as was anything about a social investment bank.

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