Voice 4 Change England welcomes Labour’s decision to repeal the Lobbying Act

News release from Voice4Change EnglandVoice4Change England
April 2014

For immediate release

Voice4Change England welcomes Labour’s decision to repeal the Lobbying Act


Voice4Change England (V4CE) welcomes Labour’s decision to repeal the Lobbying Act if it wins power.
V4CE believe the new Lobbying Act will frighten the voluntary and community sector charities from speaking out on the problems their clients face during a general election.
Kunle Olulode, director of V4CE, said he would love to see the back of this law but that voluntary organisations needed more details about what Labour was proposing to replace it with.
Olulode said: “The Lobbying Act is a bureaucratic nightmare and creates an atmosphere of fear which could silence Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) organisations from raising awareness about the issues they deal with every day, such as welfare advice, asylum and immigration, or combatting racial discrimination.
“Labour says they will bring in new reforms of their own if they win in 2015 but we need to see what this involves. Charities need less red tape and more freedom so that charities can educate voters and politicians about the problems their clients are experiencing, and what needs to be done to alleviate their suffering.”
V4CE believe an incoming government, of any political hue, should throw out the bad bits of the Lobbying Act and enable the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to fully contribute to public debate around election time.
He added: “It is right that restrictions remain to prevent charities from campaigning for individual political parties, but if a charity believes that a particular policy would make life more bearable for their clients they should feel free to say this, without fear or favour.”
V4CE is in favour of the ‘threshold’ for declaring campaign expenditure remaining at £20,000, but would like to see the other parts of the Lobbying Act – such as constituency limits, restrictions on charities joining forces in a ‘coalition’, and a tightening of the definition of controlled expenditure – thrown in the bin.
For more details about V4CE’s Parliamentary Briefing please click here
Notes to editors: 
Voice4Change England
Voice4Change England (V4CE) is a national advocate for the Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary and community sector (BME VCS).  BME voluntary and community organisations (BME VCOs) are a crucial part of civil society that have emerged from and work for BME communities.  By supporting the BME VCS we aim to improve the life outcomes for BME and other disadvantaged communities. 
For more information or interviews please contact Communications Officer Samantha Watson on 020 7697 4245 or email swatson@voice4change-england.co.uk