Big victory for the Lobbying Bill but the fight isn’t over | ActionAid UK

Richard Pyle

Interim Tax Justice Campaign Manager

On Wednesday the government faced an embarrassing defeat in the House of Lords as the Lobbying Bill was heavily amended by Peers.

Campaigners outside Parliament calling for changes to the Lobbying Bill

The Bill, also known as the Gagging Bill poses a huge threat to our ability to campaign together in the run up to an election. Despite overwhelming opposition to the Bill, the government chose not to follow the advice of the Commission on Civil Society and accept various amendments.

Over 150 charities and organisations from across the political spectrum have expressed concern about the impact of the Bill on our freedom of speech and ability to raise important issues like global poverty with politicians. In the last week alone over 167,000 people have signed a petition calling on the House of Lords to pass vital amendments to lessen the impact on legitimate charitable campaigning.

So it was a big relief when Peers heard your call and overwhelmingly voted through a significant amendment that would stop the government from restricting how much charities like ActionAid could spend on certain staff salaries in an election year. This makes it much easier for us to keep campaigning together with our amazing supporters to keep development high on the political agenda.

This was a major victory and wouldn’t have been possible without the power of our supporters. But the fight is far from over. We will have a final opportunity to call for changes at Third Reading. You can do your bit to keep pressure on politicians by signing the petition and sharing it with your friends and family.