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East Lancashire charities' worry over 'lobbying ban'
2:49pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
VETERAN eco-campaigner Brian Jackson warned MPs that charities could be gagged from campaigning on issues of public interest as they yesterday debated new rules on lobbying.
The Winewall resident backed the case put to ministers by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations that the proposals will prevent charities speaking out in policy debates.
The government said it was not ‘setting out to constrain’ charities.
The House of Commons started debating the Transparency of Lobbying, non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill yesterday.
Mr Jackson, who founded the Pendle branch of Friends of the Earth in 1984, said: “This bill would gag me and my organisation on campaigning on a number of issues such as the environment, the plight of bees and fracking.
“Friend of the Earth is a campaigning charity which raise issues of public interest.
“The intention of stopping American-style political lobbying is good but it’s impact on charity campaigning would be disastrous. It will stop us talking to MPs about things that matter to people.”
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