Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:41 pm on 3rd September 2013.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 1:41 pm, 3rd September 2013

Conservative Members might not like the causes that 38 Degrees takes up, but surely we live in a free society and it has the right to do so. The hon. Lady has rather betrayed some of the partisan motivation that lies behind this Bill. Since she does not like 38 Degrees, perhaps she will listen to the TaxPayers Alliance, which has said:

“The bill is a serious threat to independent politics that will stifle free and open democratic debate.”

Yesterday even Owen Jones and “Guido Fawkes” were agreeing that this Bill is “undemocratic”, so the Government have managed to cause some unlikely coalitions, of which that is probably the most unlikely.

We must be under no illusion: if these rules pass into law unamended they will seriously undermine free and fair democratic debate in the run-up to the next election. Blogs may well be regulated and stifled too. The changes in part 2 have met with universal opposition. Even “ConservativeHome” and “Liberal Democrat Voice” have joined “LabourList” in publishing highly critical pieces condemning their own Government’s clampdown on free speech.