Sir George responds to his constituents' concerns about Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.
16 Oct 2013
The Government has gone to great lengths to make it as clear as possible that only third party groups that campaign for the electoral success of a particular political party or candidate which will affected by this Bill. I must again stress that an organisation campaigning solely on policy issues will not be included in these changes.

The Bill does not prevent charities or third party organisations from having a view on any aspect of the policy of a party nor does it stop these groups attempting to influence the policy of a party. Only if this was carried out in such a way that it could be seen also to promote the election of a political party or candidate would it be covered. This situation exists at the moment; it is the same under the current legislation and remains unchanged by this Bill.

In addition, the Government tabled a number of amendments on 8 and 9 October and the Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley, set out in detail how this would make the legislation clearer for campaigners at end of September:

www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-on-amendments-to-the-transparency-bill

At the last election, only two organisations spent over the proposed £390,000 limit and there is a risk of a few third parties having undue influence at election period. During the 2010 election, the biggest 10 per cent of third parties spent more than other 90 per cent put together.

The Bill has now passed its Commons stages.
 
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