From The Independent: The government has been accused of “unforgivable cowardice” after it emerged experts hired to test cladding in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire were banned from criticising Theresa May.
From The Times: Charities and companies working with Universal Credit claimants have been banned from criticising or harming the reputation of the Tory work and pensions secretary Esther McVey.
[Read article on The Times website…] (paywalled, but free registration grants access to two articles per week)
From The Independent: A chief executive of a major charity told the Guardian they felt “muzzled” by legislation passed in 2014, which prevents charities from lobbying the Government in the run-up to an election.
From Another Angry Voice: Despite a massive campaign of resistance, the Tories managed to pass what has become commonly known as “the gagging bill“. I prefer to refer to it as “The Protection of Corporate Lobbying and Silencing of Legitimate Debate bill” because that is precisely what it is. The mainstream corporate press have played along with the government by continually referring to it as the “lobbying bill“, despite the fact that the majority of the lobbying industry will remain entirely unaffected by it. Essentially the bill protects in-house corporate lobbying operations from any kind of official scrutiny, meaning that a cloak of secrecy will still shroud their influence upon our politicians.
The fact that the so-called “lobbying bill” does so little to regulate the activities of corporate lobbyists isn’t even the worst of it. The truly appalling part is the extensive second section of the bill which is clearly designed to silence critics of the government such as charities, voluntary organisations, protest groups, trade unions and religions.