The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill
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This Bill is about bringing transparency to the way third parties interact with the political system. Campaign groups play an important role in our political process, helping inform policy making and allowing different views to be heard from across society. The Government is clear that it wants this to continue.

It is very important to note that these new proposals are only for third party organisations which campaign for the electoral success of a particular political party or candidate. An organisation campaigning only on policy issues would not be included in these changes.

The Government wants to take the big money out of politics. Limiting campaign spending during an election will help the UK avoid the situation we see in other countries, where unregulated spending by vested interests means that it might not always be the best candidate who wins an election, but the one with the richest supporters.

The amount an organisation can spend campaigning for electoral success during an election period will be limited to £390,000 across the UK. The Government believes this is still a very substantial sum and is a proportionate figure. Expenditure on these campaigns will be fully recorded and disclosed.

At present, charities can undertake non-party political activity where the trustees can show that it supports their purposes and would be an effective use of their resources.

The law prohibits charities from engaging in party politics, party political campaigning, supporting political candidates or undertaking political activity unrelated to the charity’s purpose.

The Bill does not change this. Charities will still be able to support specific policies advocated by political parties if it would help achieve their charitable purposes.

The Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, Chloe Smith, has written to 38 Degrees, outlining the Government’s position and you can read it online here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/232248/Transparency_of_Lobbying_Bill_letter.pdf

Ministers have been working closely with charities and third party groups to address their concerns. I hope you have been reassured that this Bill will not prevent or prohibit campaigning but will make the system more transparent by bringing these third parties into the spending reporting regime.


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