On 18 October 2013, the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report on the transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.
The Committee welcomes the Government improvements made to Part 2 during its passage though the Commons but remains concerned about the following issues in this Part of the Bill:
- the lack of clarity about the practical effects of the provision in this Part of the Bill which has led to widespread concern that third parties may be dissuaded from participating in campaigns with a potential “chilling effect” on free speech;
- the increased list of regulated activities, combined with the reduction in maximum spending and lowered registration thresholds, which has created concerns that legitimate campaigning activities could be inhibited;
- the failure of the Government to explain satisfactorily the rationale for the new maximum spending limits and registration threshold in light of the increased number of regulated activities; and
- the need for greater consideration as to whether these reforms are proportionate.
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