MPs could face restrictions on campaigning about national issues under the new lobbying bill, the chairman of the Commons standards committee has suggested.
Charities have already complained the bill could have a “chilling effect” on their campaigning, and Kevin Barron, a senior Labour MP, has now warned that politicians could fall within its ambit.
He said it was unclear whether MPs raising awareness about non-constituency business could be caught within the transparency of lobbying, non-party campaigning and trade union administration bill, which has its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Barron spoke out during Thursday’s session of the Commons constitutional and political reform committee, whose chairman, Graham Allen, said he had received “a rather frightening list of potential things that members of parliament could fall foul of”.
He said these could include an MP expressing a view to ministers on fracking even though it would not affect their constituency, or raising worries with the foreign secretary in general about the persecution of Christians in Egypt.
So here we have the government actually trying to limit the free speech of MPs.