Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Labour attack David Cameron over party funding lobbying bill

David Cameron
David Cameron

Labour will today call on David Cameron to drop his controversial lobbying bill and return to the negotiating table to reform the way party politics is funded in Britain.

In a symbolic speech at the venue where Mr Cameron first made the call for “better politics” before the last election, Angela Eagle will promise her party’s renewed co-operation for party funding reform.

 

But the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons will also launch a strong attack on the Government’s Lobbying Bill, due to come before the Commons next week. The bill has been condemned by charities and campaign groups because it would impose financial restrictions on what they can do in the run-up to elections.

 

Ms Eagle will say that Labour would work with the Government to reform party funding if they reworked the bill. “No one supports this bill,” she will say. “It is a bad piece of legislation that will take our politics backwards. My message to David Cameron is this: think again, rewrite this bill so it properly regulates the lobbying industry, doesn’t attack the big society which you once championed, and takes the big money out of politics. If you do we will back you.”

 

Under the proposed new law, any organisation deemed to be promoting a message that supports or attacks a political party or candidate will be allowed to spend £390,000 during an election campaign, rather than the current £988,000.

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