The Labour Party has promised to repeal the Lobbying Act, according to the party’s leaked manifesto.
The pledge, which is no change on the Party’s stand on the Lobbying Act at the 2015 general election, says that it will repeal the Act which has “gagged charities” if Labour win the election next month.
Labour’s manifesto was leaked last night, before it had been officially approved by the party which had been due to happen today. A Labour spokesperson has described the manifesto as a “draft” version.
The manifesto said: “We will safeguard our democracy by repealing the Lobbying Act, which has gagged charities, and introduce a tougher statutory register of lobbyists.
At the moment the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 means charities will need to register with the Electoral Commission if they plan to spend more than £20,000 in England or £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland between now and polling day where the expenditure can reasonably be regarded as intended to influence the electoral prospects of parties or candidates.
In March last year a review by Lord Hodgson was produced with several recommendations on the Act. No changes had been implemented at the time that the snap election was called last month.
Other policies in the leaked manifesto include one to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament, and states: “This growing homelessness shames the conservatives most of all. The spiralling rise in street homelessness results directly from decisions made by Ministers since 2010 on housing, and on funding for charities and councils.”