Urgent Action: Stop the Gagging Bill!
Charities face a 12 month gagging order if the Government gets its way. It sounds unbelievable. But if the coalition’s Lobbying Bill succeeds we could in effect be banned from speaking to the media or even blogging about some of the biggest issues facing the planet during the year of a general election.
Our campaign to save bees could be banned as early as May. This email could be illegal. But if we act now we can stop it.
We think many MPs will be horrified by the huge threat this poses to the whole charity sector – and to healthy democratic debate.
Behind the scenes we’ve been working with other charities and our team of campaigning lawyers to tackle the threat. But now it’s vital that MPs hear from the loudest voice that Friends of the Earth has – you. The more MPs that hear from us, the more likely they will be to speak out.
Together we can stop this but only if we’re quick.
With best wishes,
Senior Parliamentary Campaigner
PS. Respected lawyers have also highlighted how unfair the new rules could be. Writing for the Guardian, Simon Steeden of Bates Wells Braithwaite solicitors said:
“While Friends of the Earth might find it harder to campaign for better environmental standards in the production of mobile phones, Apple and Samsung could avoid transparency obligations if their consultant lobbyists avoid speaking directly to government ministers and the most senior civil servants.”
Another good reason to take this urgent action today.
See the Friends of the Earth website for more details of the likely impact of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill on charities, third sector and compaigning organisations.