I have written here before about the negative impact the Lobbying Act has on the ability of charities to play a full role in the public debate around social policy. Examples can be found here, here, here and here.
Leaders from around the charity sector recently wrote to the government asking it to implement reforms of the Lobbying Act recommended in Lord Hodgson’s review, a review commissioned by the government itself and fully endorsed by the cross party Lords Select Committee on Charities.
Last week the Cabinet Office minister, Chris Skidmore, said that the Government will be not be implementing any of recommended reforms that would have reduced restrictions on campaigning.
Chris Skidmore recently said that the government is pro-charity and keen to involve the sector in the democratic process.
A sign of a healthy democracy is that those in power allow comment and listen to views that might not be comfortable for it. Charities, while not party political, should be free to speak out on behalf of the causes and people they support.
I am deeply disappointed by the government’s decision not to implement the recommendations of the review it commissioned. I see it as a sign of political weakness.