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Proposed lobbying bill exemption for charities withdrawn over Commission concerns

An amendment in the House of Lords to exempt charities from the scope of the lobbying bill was withdrawn yesterday after the Charity Commission wrote to peers saying it was not in charities’ best interests.

The report stage on part two of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill took place in the House of Lords yesterday. Part two of the bill limits political activity by third parties in the run-up to an election, and charities say it will harm their ability to campaign.

Charity lawyer Lord Phillips of Sudbury had tabled an amendment to exempt charities from the scope of the lobbying bill altogether. Phillips said regulation of charities was unnecessary because their political activity was already regulated by the Charity Commission.

In response, the Commission wrote to members of the House of Lords on Tuesday outlining “concerns about the practical implications of a charity exemption” from the lobbying bill.


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