Sector leaders set out expectations for anti-advocacy 'pause'

There must be clear and comprehensive consultation on the anti-advocacy clause and on any proposed changes to it, NCVO, Acevo and SEUK said today.

In a joint statement, the sector bodies said:

The government's pause on implementation of the anti-advocacy clause is a welcome move and we are pleased that they have acknowledged the need for further review.

We have written to the Cabinet Office to set out what we believe this review must cover.

Our hope and expectation is that the government will commit to a thorough and open consultation process. This would be an opportunity for it to put forward its own case, and any revised proposals, in a proper and transparent way so they can be fully scrutinised and commented on.

Ministers have already acknowledged that the government holds little evidence on which to base their policy, that its blanket implementation was not appropriate, and that the government has not yet attempted to assess the impact it may have on disadvantaged groups. An equality impact assessment and independent evaluation of the impact of the clause to date should clearly be part of the next steps.

It is also important to reassure any grant recipients that have already signed agreements including this widely-drawn clause that it will not be enforced while the policy is under review.

We look forward to hearing the government's plans for the review.

Notes

The government concedes it has no evidence for its claim that charity campaigns have been funded by government grants:

  1. Charities: Lobbying: Written question - HL6227
  2. Charities: Lobbying: Written question - HL6339

The government backtracked on its plan for blanket implementation of the clause following concerns from universities: Clause in government grants: Jo Johnson response

An equality impact assessment was not carried out in developing the policy: Lobbying: Written question - 35054

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