28 January 2014

The Gagging Bill

Last night the Lobbying Bill passed the House of Lords. The vote was a tie with 245 on each side but that meant the government won. There is just one Green in the House of Lords, Jenny Jones. She was there. She voted against. Did every Labour peer manage to do the same?

What this means is that the Liberal Democrats have helped pass another illiberal bill (one that they no doubt hope will limit the impact of students who were greatly betrayed by them). Now are we going to see the government take the Royal British Legion, Oxfam or another NGO to Court if any organisation challenges this? Meanwhile the real danger to politics, the corporate lobbyists, will remain largely unaffected.

As Home Affairs spokesperson, I've issued this response:

"The coalition has tried to legally gag those who would challenge their appalling record on poverty, the environment, tuition fees and civil liberties. The Green Party will voice those concerns and we urge former Liberal Democrat voters to help us kick out the legs from under the coalition at the European Elections, by voting Green and making completely clear this attempt to end freedom of political speech for charities and campaigning groups was a step too far."

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