Lobbying law impact – views and evidence wanted

The open consultation stage of the government’s ‘Third Party Campaigning Review’ (aka Hodgson Review) has now started with a call for views and evidence. This is looking at the workings of the recent lobbying regulations, and follows the completion of surveys which were run to gather evidence from the election period – see our news item from April.

To quote the consultation web page:

‘Third parties’ are organisations or individuals that are actively campaigning at elections but are not political parties or candidates.

This call for views and evidence is in 4 broad sections. They:

  • examine underlying issues associated with third party campaigning, and ask what the purpose and principles of a robust regulatory system should be
  • ask for views on the definitions and concepts of third party campaigning
  • examine the current elements of the regulatory system
  • explore what the future of third party campaigning may look like

The consultation closes on 31st July.

Civil Society News has recently reported on a submission to the review by the Public Relations Consultants Association. This condemned the Lobbying Act, which it says silences volunteers and smaller charities, and shows a “fundamental misunderstanding” of how modern communication works. They also siad that it is a tax on campaigners, which has led some charities to run up legal and accounting bills of tens of thousands.