Grilling for promoted MP about lobbying
By Kent and Sussex Courier | Friday, October 18, 2013, 08:00
TUNBRIDGE Wells MP Greg Clark faced a fierce audience at the weekend who grilled him about the Lobbying Bill.
Mr Clark, who was promoted in last week's Government reshuffle, faced questioning from a group of 70 residents about the Bill, which is aimed at curtailing the amounts third parties spend on election campaigns.
Many of the assembled guests launched a stinging attack on the MP and the Conservative party about the proposed law and the impact it would have on charities and pressure groups.
Under the plans it will limit the amount these organisations can spend to campaign for or against candidates in the lead up to the election.
Mr Clark defended the plans, but Mary Stone said the law was "erosion by democracy".
John Dutton, of Broadmeads, who is a member of national lobbying group 38 Degrees, said: "This law should be about lobbying but now we have trade unions caught up in this and charities. Why have they been dragged into this?"
Mr Clark tried to convince the angry campaigners that charities and campaign groups would still be able to lobby effectively but the meeting ended with residents launching a tirade at the MP.
He was also criticised for calling the meeting at the United Reformed Church, in Mount Ephraim, on Saturday at the last minute and as he was leaving angry constituents were demanding another meeting.