UK in Europe

The new campaign group to promote professional lobbying has condemned the UK government’s consultation on a new statutory register of lobbyists as “shameful”.

The government proposes to introduce a statutory register applying only to multi-client lobbying companies, exempting many others engaged in lobbying. The only explanation for this move given is that the clients represented by lobbyists are not included in the list of Ministerial meetings that the government publishes. However such a problem could be easily solved by requiring lobbyists to reveal the identity of their client at the start of a meeting.

Mark Adams, Director of StandUp4Lobbying, said: “This publication is a massive wasted opportunity for the government which should be working with the professional bodies already self-regulating lobbying far more rigorously than the government’s own proposals. The government had the opportunity to bring in a register for all professional lobbyists. Instead, they have chosen to focus on one relatively small section of the professional lobbying sector, those that work for multi-client consultancies.

“There is a real danger that, as a result of these proposals, companies will resign from the existing bodies that publish lobbying registers to avoid being charged twice. However the existing bodies also require members to follow a strict Code of Conduct, whereas the government will not. There is a real danger that the government’s approach will weaken lobbying regulation, not strenthen it.”

Posted on 20 January 2012 by Mark Adams at the StandUp4Lobbying blog (http://standup4lobbying.wordpress.com/)

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