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.”
- 2 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 4 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks busy Dublin road
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Edward Heath 'child sex abuse' allegation: Investigation to be held into Wiltshire police handling of alleged claim in the 1990s
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...
£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: ACS qualified Domestic Gas Brea...
£16250 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Product Packager / Stock Assistant is ...