Assessing the lobbying law

The third report of the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement sets out evidence of the impact of the Lobbying Act ahead of the start of the regulated period (from 19th September 2014). Drawing on evidence from 50 charities, faith and campaign groups across the UK, representing a wide range of issues, it shows that the new law was already limiting charities and campaign groups from speaking out on important issues ahead of the general election.

See Civil Society News coverage or the Commission’s own news item on its front page, http://civilsocietycommission.info. Direct link to the report ‘Impact of the Lobbying Act on civil society and democratic engagement’ (pdf, 1.9MB) http://civilsocietycommission.info/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/civil-society-commission-report-no3-v4-PRINT.pdf.

The government has also just (28th January) appointed Lord Hodgson to conduct a review into how the Lobbying Act is being put into practice. He will assess the “effectiveness of the current provisions of third party campaigning”, with a finished report due to be presented to Parliament before November 2016. Civil Society News http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/18943/lord_hodgson_appointed_official_reviewer_of_lobbying_act.

Sector consultancy nfpSynergy is shortly due to publish its own report on the impact of the lobbying law on campaigning and public affairs professionals. Meanwhile it has released key findings from its interviews. ‘Legi-slated; is the Lobbying Act a waste of time and resources?’ is at http://nfpsynergy.net/blog/lobbying-act-waste-time.

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