Dear Claire,

I wanted to let you know straight away. I’m afraid we lost the gagging law vote in the House of Lords this evening. That’s it – it’s going to become law.

It couldn’t have been closer. On the final vote, 245 Lords voted in favour and 245 against. Unfortunately the rules mean that in the case of a tie, the government gets its way.

Personally I feel pretty devastated about this. I’m worried about what it means for the future of 38 Degrees. More importantly, I’m worried about what it means for the future of democracy, and what it tells us about the state of British politics.

But I also feel proud of everything 38 Degrees members did together to fight this. I hope you do too.

There will be a lot of thinking and discussion to be done in the coming days. 38 Degrees members will need to pull together to think about how to fight this terrible law. And we’ll need to work out how we can keep standing up for all we believe in – despite the restrictions the government is trying to impose.

But right now, I feel sure of one thing. We won’t give up.

Sorry I’m not emailing with better news, and thank you for everything you’ve done,

David

PS: 38 Degrees members are discussing the outcome on Facebook. You can join in at https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange

Here’s some of the comments so far:

Peter: I am Spartacus. Who’s with me?

Zoë: sad news, let’s keep fighting to change it

Kirsty: The government shouldn’t even be allowed to vote on something like this…. it should be a vote left to the general public. Of course the government want us mute so this is no surprise

Peter: I strongly believe there should now be a coordinated campaign of civil disobedience. During the election campaign, all those organisations that stood against this atrocious and illiberal legislation should simply ignore it and campaign as usual. Maybe with a campaign fund set up to help defend the smaller organisations.

Liz: Gradually democracy is being eroded. The arrogance of this government is beyond belief.