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Trust urges charities to challenge the ‘Gagging Bill’

The Barrow Cadbury Trust is supporting calls from across the voluntary and charitable sector for the Government to withdraw and reconsider Part 2 of the Transparency in Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, legislation which threatens to severely curtail the ability of charities to undertake campaigning and advocacy work.
 
In its current form, the Bill (which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 22 October) would have a chilling effect on civil society institutions which have a long history of positive engagement with the democratic process.
 
Commenting on the Bill, Sara Llewellin, Chief Executive of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, said:

“Charities have a wealth of knowledge and frontline experience to offer and their input is crucial to the healthy working of democracy. We are deeply concerned that part II of this bill threatens to undermine that noble tradition, essentially freezing civil society groups out of the debates in which their voices are most needed – and we echo the Parliamentary and Constitutional Reform Committee’s call for the government to take this bill back to the drawing board.”

The Trust is encouraging grantholders and other organisations to contact any Peers with whom they have a relationship to express their concerns about this legislation – and is also supporting the newly established Civil Society Commission, which will be examining the potential impact of the Bill.