The so-called ‘short campaign’ is a major test for Part 2 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act — AKA the gagging law — which brought in an onerous compliance regime and spending limits for the activities of charities and campaign groups.
The message: if you’re not a political party then STFU.
So let’s see how the Lobbying Act is going in the London marginal of Hornsey and Wood Green — where government minister Lynne Featherstone is rumoured to have been told that she wouldn’t be recommended for a peerage by Lib Dem top brass unless she went down fighting.
The current CEO of anti-FGM campaign group Daughters of Eve, has decided to write to women in the constituency telling them how wonderful Lynne Featherstone is.
While there is no party branding in sight, tiny small print at the bottom reveals that the letter has actually been paid for and distributed by Featherstone’s campaign.
“Unlike the previous Government, who I also tried to approach, Lynne took FGM seriously and took action … Please vote for Lynne on May 7th
The Lib Dems were doubtless thrilled when the National Union of Students ran a prominent campaign which backed their position on tuition fees in the run up to the last general election.
Having subsequently passed an act of parliament which they knew very well would kibosh such civil society voices, the hypocrisy of — once again — cosying up to a third sector campaign to obtain party political advantage is somehow fitting.
Have something nice to say? Please be on our leaflet.
Have something awkward to say? Gagging Act!