NEW rules will stop councils from boycotting foreign nations and controversial industries, it was announced today.
The Government wants to stop what it says is the growing number of town halls carrying out “politically motivated” boycotts, in particular against Israel and defence companies.
It pointed to examples including Leicester City Council’s decision last year to boycott goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Ministers argue the boycotts cause division in local communities and work against the best interests of taxpayers.
The new rules will prevent councils choosing not to invest pension funds or purchase service from particular countries or industries unless there are Government embargoes in place.
Local Government Secretary Greg Clark said: “Divisive policies undermine good community relations, and harm the economic security of families by pushing up council tax.
“We need to challenge and prevent the politics of division.”