Voluntary organisations claim they have endured “bullying… from senior political figures” for publicly speaking out against government policies and describe the opposition they’ve faced as “subtle and menacing”.
The situation is particularly difficult for charities which take government contracts to provide public services, something which has become more common under the current coalition government.
Gagging clauses included in these contracts have allegedly been used to stop organisations “speaking out or writing letters to magazines”.
A new report, produced by the National Coalition for Independent Action (NCIA), explains that voluntary organisations:
“Can be obliged to keep information or observations private even when their insights might help improve the service or conditions for local communities and individuals.”
Women’s organisations, community action groups and others say they have also received “direct threats” letting them know that if they “continue to campaign, funds would go elsewhere”.
But gagging clauses and threats to cancel…
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