MPs say no to ‘gagging bill’

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THE borough’s MPs have overwhelmingly rejected controversial legislation which could restrict the rights of campaigning groups during elections.

Labour representatives Lisa Nandy, Yvonne Fovargue and Andy Burnham voted to reject Government plans to refuse amendments proposed by the House of Lords to the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.

The new legislation was intended to restore trust in politics amid concerns about the role of lobbyists but critics say grassroots campaigners, environmental organisations and charities could all be effectively silenced in the run-up to elections.

Wigan MP Ms Nandy led the opposition in the Commons debate.

She said: “Many charities cannot understand why they, as well as trade unions and grassroots campaigners, are the target for this bill, when it lets off the hook powerful vested interests.

“I have reached the conclusions that this is a Government which has very little commitment to democracy and is not willing to be challenged.”