In a letter to Sir Stephen Bubb, Chief Executive of ACEVO, the Prime Minister David Cameron has promised that the controversial Lobbying Act will not affect the majority of charities and campaigning organisations.
The Prime Minister responded to an impassioned letter from Sir Stephen on 12 February, which urged him to commit to repealing the Act and replacing it with a fairer regulatory regime.
The Prime Minister said that he was ‘sorry to read of [Sir Stephen’s] concerns’ and that his aim was only ‘to improve openness and transparency.’
The Prime Minister promised to uphold his commitment to a full review of the Act after the 2015 election and urged ACEVO and other voluntary organisations and campaign groups to make representations on the impact of the act.
He promised that the new rules would ‘exempt most groups’ also promised that the Act “will only apply to third party organisations or charities who spend money to procure the electoral success of a particular political party or candidate”.
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s intervention on the Lobbying Act, Sir Stephen Bubb said:
“I welcome the Prime Minister’s response. It is important that his views on a piece of legislation that has such huge implications for freedom of speech and democracy are heard loud and clear.
“Charities and campaigners will note his promise that the Lobbying Act won’t restrict the crucial role that we play in speaking out for the vulnerable and voiceless. ACEVO will be watching closely.
“We will hold the Prime Minister to his other promise of a review in 2015. ACEVO will continue to work tirelessly with charities and regulatory bodies to ensure that the voice of civil society is not silenced by Government.”
Read Civil Society Magazine’s coverage on David Cameron’s letter to Sir Stephen Bubb here.