BWB partner Simon Steeden calls for more clarity on Lobbying Act

Simon Steeden, partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB), has called for more clarity on the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.

Since the publication of 292 pages of guidance on the Transparency of Lobbying, Non Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, many charities and voluntary groups have openly raised their concerns over clarity.

Although ministers guaranteed that the usual campaigning activities of charities will not be restricted by the controversial legislation, Steeden firmly believes the guidance is not in line with those promises.

Many charities have expressed their reservations in ongoing calls for clarity as the uncertainties persist. Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, has also criticised the Electoral Commission’s guidance on the Act, calling on the regulator to ‘sort this regrettable mess out’.

The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) has also joined calls for clarity about how the Lobbying Act will affect non-party campaigners. The PRCA’s not-for-profit and charity group wrote to the Electoral Commission saying ‘fundamental questions’ remain about how the new rules will impact the work of charity campaigners and PRs.