ImageDear Reader,

Simon Kirby will be voting on the gagging law later today. Please can you help add a final bit of extra pressure by giving him a ring?

If you can spare five minutes, please call Simon Kirby’s office on this number: 020 7219 7024 and ask for him by name.

If MPs receive dozens of calls today, it’ll create a real buzz around Parliament. It’s pretty rare for MPs to get loads of phone calls about a law as it goes through Parliament. Phone calls will remind more MPs to turn up to the debate, and help persuade more of them to vote the right way.

In a close vote, phone calls to MPs could be a deciding factor.

You don’t need to be an expert to call Simon Kirby. It’s just about voicing your opinion, as a voter. But to help you get started,here are some quick tips:

1. Call Simon Kirby’s office on this number: 020 7219 7024.

2. When the office answers, ask for Simon Kirby by name. If he isn’t available, ask to leave a message for him regarding today’s vote on part 2 of the Lobbying Bill (the part known as the gagging law).

3. Explain why you’re concerned about the effects of the gagging law on charities, campaigners, and community groups.Mention different organisations you support or are involved with. Any group which speaks up on issues of the day – whether it’s focused on health, environment, veterans, the countryside, human rights, animal welfare, or something else – could be affected.

4. Ask him to vote against the bill. Ask him also to vote for amendments which would improve it, particularly amendment 102 tabled by Graham Allen MP. Amendment 102 would reverse the drastic cuts to what independent groups are allowed to spend campaigning in the year before a general election.

5. Remind him that a huge number of organisations are still extremely concerned about this law – including the Royal British Legion, the Countryside Alliance, the Royal National Institute of Blind people, Mumsnet, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, and NCVO. Make sure he doesn’t get away with claiming that the concerns of charities have now been addressed – that’s not what the charities think! [1]

6. If it feels like Simon Kirby might be trying to fob you off, have a look at this “myth buster” prepared by a legal expert which responds to some of the lines MPs are trying to peddle:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/gagging-law-legal-advice-report-stage

7. Stick to your guns, but be polite!

8. Once you’ve finished your call, please share how it went in one of the following ways:

If you’re on Facebook, let other 38 Degrees members who’re calling their MPs today know how your call went by commenting on this post:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/MP-calls-feedback-facebook

Or, let the staff team know via this quick feedback form:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/call-feedback

Call Simon Kirby’s office on this number: 020 7219 7024 and ask for him by name.

THANK YOU. Today’s vote is a very important milestone the campaign. Hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees members have stood alongside hundreds of other organisations to put pressure on MPs to vote the right way. Fingers crossed we get a good result – either an outright victory, or a close vote that sets us up well for battling on when the proposals go into the House of Lords.

Thanks for everything you do,
David and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES
[1] ACEVO and NCVO joint statement:
http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Parliamentary-briefing-for-Report-stage.pdf

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