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Government must look again at Part 2 of Lobbying Bill, says Countryside Alliance

“Given the lack of consultation prior to the Bill’s introduction, the Government should take this opportunity to consult properly. This unwarranted attack on free speech and democratic engagement is unacceptable. We all agree that transparency and accountability at elections is vital but this is not the way to achieve that aim, and reducing democratic engagement by ordinary voters is the last thing any Government should wish to see.”

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the report, that is published today (29 October), by the independent commission set up to review the effects of Part 2 of the Government’s Lobbying Bill.

The Commission, which includes Countryside Alliance president Baroness Mallalieu, held fact-finding sessions in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, and has concluded that Part 2 of the Bill, as it stands, would be extremely detrimental to non-party campaigning on matters of public concern.

Commissioners have called for the Bill to be paused, to allow for proper consideration and consultation. 

James Legge, head of political, for the Countryside Alliance said: “We welcome the Commission’s report and urge the Government and Parliament to heed its recommendations. The sheer scope of organisations and charities that have united against Part 2 of the Bill is evidence in itself that it needs more consideration before the Government proceeds further.

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