Jenny Chapman MP

JENNY CHAPMAN

Lobbying Bill gains Royal Assent

Politics needs reform, not a gag on campaigners.

Last July the Goverment laid out its plans to "fix our broken politics" in the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.

Nearly seven months later it remains the same undemocratic, dangerous and unworkable mess it was then.

In this time I have heard from many people in Darlington who, like me, are deeply concerned about this Bill, which lets professional lobbyists off the hook whilst gagging charities, trade unionists and campaigners.

For that reason I know I am not alone is being greatly disappointed to see the Lobbying Bill receive Royal Assent.

Although we weren't able to stop this legislation, I am glad to have been joined by my Labour colleagues in voting and arguing against the Lobbying Bill every step of the way. We are now as a party looking to see how we can undo the damage done by the bill if we win the general election in 2015.

Britain needs proper transparency in its politics, and big money should never be allowed to distort our democracy. This Bill has addressed none of those things, whilst making it harder for ordinary people to speak out and be heard.

I know that the Labour Party now wants to hear from charities and campaigners about what they would like to see in its place. I would like to thank everyone who got in touch with me about this, and everyone who worked hard trying to stop this Bill.

You can rest assured - a Labour Government would not let this gag remain.

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