Labour may repeal illiberal Lobbying Act if it wins next election, Ed Miliband announces
An incoming Labour government would repeal the “controversial and illiberal” Lobbying Act, Ed Miliband has announced.
The legislation has been attacked as a “gagging law” by charities which protested it would limit their activities during election campaigns.
Labour said it would replace the Act with regulation of lobbying, including a comprehensive register of everyone involved in the industry, backed by a code of conduct and sanctions.
It also committed itself to measures to protect non-partisan campaigning during election contests.
Mr Miliband said in an email to party members: “I have been clear from the start that I oppose this gag on charities and campaigners, which was introduced with little consultation. If Labour wins the next election, we will remove it from the statute book.”
The Act, which became law in January after a turbulent passage through the House of Lords, sets up a register which only covers firms which lobby for a variety of clients. So-called “in-house” lobbyists are not included in the legislation.
Labour claims the reforms are so weak that they amount to a charter for lobbyists.
Angela Eagle, the shadow Commons leader, said: “The lobbying laws had been cooked up in a shabby deal between David Cameron and Nick Clegg. It lets vested interests off the hook, and it gags charities and grassroots campaigners who want to hold the government to account.”
She said Labour would consult with charities and campaigners over “how to ensure transparency in our elections while protecting freedom of speech”.
Iain Anderson, the deputy chairman of the Association of Professional Political Consultants, welcomed the announcement. He said: “A universal register backed by statute would be the best way to regulate and manage the lobbying industry. Anything which would help achieve this has our full support.”
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...