Our right to speak
This week has seen a huge step forward in efforts to overturn the government’s proposed gagging law. The proposed law could fundamentally remove our freedom of speech. A petition backed and signed by Insight Investigations as well as more than 160,000 others, was presented to Lords played a huge role in the removal of the worst parts of the bill. The petition handed to Lord Harries who said “Thank you to everyone who added their name to the petition. It was amazingly powerful that I was able to tell fellow Lords during the debate, that I had with me a petition with the names of over 130 NGOs who had signed up to the petition and a staggering 160,000+ signatures of people who have spoken out about this dangerous law”, was referenced to multiple time during the debate.
What would change?
Up to a year before an election, the law would stop groups and charities running their campaigns. 38 degrees say “You’ll see the government putting in huge new restrictions on what you can and can’t do which will mean that overall this is going to distort politics even further in favour of those who are already really rich and powerful.” For example if a hospital was to close, it would make it increasingly difficult to fight and campaign about that decision.
Where are we up to?
A recent vote at the House of Lords saw the government defeated. At 237 votes to 194, some of the worst parts of the bill were taken out. Although there is more to do, 38 degrees have called this a “huge step forward” and a crucial defeat. A final vote on 21st January will determine the change to the law. Insight Investigation continues to back and fight the removal of the gagging law.