Government’s charities ‘gag’ plan attacked by rival MP

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Government plans which would ‘gag’ charities and voluntary organisations have been criticised by a Sheffield MP.

The Coalition narrowly won a House of Commons vote on the Lobbying Bill, which restricts the amount of money organisations can spend on campaigning around elections.

Eleven rebel Conservative MPs joined Labour opposing the plan but the Liberal Democrats all voted in favour with the majority of Tories.

Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East, said: “I support real reform of the lobbying industry, which requires a universal register of all professional lobbyists with a code of conduct backed by sanctions. The Bill is a sinister gag on charities and campaigners in the run-up to an election.”