Politicians clash over charities

Politicians have clashed over the extent to which charities should be allowed to lobby to Westminster and Whitehall.

Bailey: charities must lobby
Bailey: charities must lobby

The Government’s Third Sector Review, debated in the House of Commons last week, opens the door to greater political lobbying by charities.

Conservative MP Francis Maude expressed concern over allowing charities more scope to engage in political campaigning.

He suggested charities’ ability to provide charitable services ‘will be damaged because their perceived independence and public purpose will be constrained if it becomes possible for campaigning to be the dominant part of what a charity does’.

Labour MP Adrian Bailey responded: ‘If we have an independent sector, charities must have the right to lobby politically.’ Bailey said charities influenced legislation ‘in a way that is beneficial to the community and to the reputation of this House’.

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