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Damaging lobbying bill postponed

Compassion is pleased by the government’s decision to postpone a controversial lobbying bill, which would restrict campaigning in election year.

The Government has agreed to hold fresh consultations on a bill which proposes to cap the amount that charities and other non-party organisations can spend on campaigning in the UK in the upcoming election year and in the future.

Compassion joined with over 70 charities and organisations in an independent commission to urge the government to postpone the bill until its implications could be properly assessed.

We are concerned that the bill will unnecessarily restrict our ability to press for policies aimed at improving animal welfare in the run-up to the general election.

There is a blanket restriction on spending, even if campaigns do not expressly mention the name of a party or candidate.

The government also failed to hold a consultation on the bill before it was published, which prevented the affected organisations from responding.

Philip Lymbery, Compassion’s CEO, says: “The proposed bill amounts to a gagging order, with the potential to seriously curb our ability to take part in democratic debate. We are extremely pleased that it is going to be reconsidered and urge the government to allow charities to campaign without undemocratic restrictions.”

Debate on the bill has been postponed for six weeks.