23:39 GMT +312 December 2018
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    UK PM May Vows to 'Provide Voice to Everyday People'

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to reassess the government's contracts with charities that contain clauses prohibiting the organisations from speaking up against government policies, The Times newspaper reported.

    "It is vital that the sector’s independence and freedom of speech are protected to allow charities and social enterprises to continue providing a voice for everyday people", May said in the letter, as quoted by the newspaper.

    May said in a letter to charities that officials were looking at how their contracts with the government could be amended to make sure that charity organisations and social enterprises could speak up against government policies, according to The Times.

    READ MORE: UK Modern Slavery Act 'Leaves Children Vulnerable', Charity Wants Overhaul

    An investigation carried out by The Times found that 40 charities and over 300 companies that rely on government contracts worth 25 billion pounds (roughly $32 billion) had been silenced, with some of them being asked to avoid doing "anything which may attract adverse publicity" to the UK work and pensions secretary. Moreover, by signing the contract, some charities had to agree to "pay the utmost regard" to the prime minister’s "standing and reputation", according to the investigation.

    The Times said it had examined 38,500 documents related to government contracts signed since 2015 and found 398 deals with clauses prohibiting organisations from taking action that could cause negative publicity for the "authority" commissioning the work.

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    Tags:
    charity, criticism, Theresa May, United Kingdom
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