MP concerned

Angus MP Mike Weir has criticised the UK Government’s proposals for a Lobbying Bill in the House of Commons, and is supporting an attempt to exempt Scottish charities.

The provisions would place heavy legislative burdens on charities and third sector bodies that campaign on political issues. Particularly onerous are significant new restrictions on what charities will be able to spend in the year before General Elections.

It has generated widespread concerns. Mr Weir said: “Constituents throughout Angus have contacted me to express concerns about this badly drafted and ill thought out bill, especially the impact it will have upon charities.

“An active, challenging and politically engaged civic society is a hallmark of democracy and the lifeblood of live political culture, every bit as much as a free press and free and fair elections.

“I have grave concerns that a side effect of the Bill will be to restrict the space where citizens can ask questions about public policies that affect their lives.”