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Government rejects lobbying register

More evidence emerged today our political class is spurning the opportunity for reform provided by the expenses crisis

Tom Griffin (London, OK):More evidence emerged today our political class is spurning the opportunity for reform provided by the expenses crisis.

The Government has rejected proposals for a compulsory register of lobbyists. Its response to the Public Administration Select Committee's special report on lobbying, argues that "effective voluntary self-regulation must be the preferred approach."

David Miller of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency said:

“The government has shown it is not serious about political reform by allowing lobbyists to continue to self-regulate. In June, Gordon Brown said that the future was about ‘opening up areas of public life that have been too secretive’. This must include the massive and growing influence commercial lobbying has on public life.

“Asking the public to trust lobbyists to operate transparently is like asking us to trust MPs on expenses. Self-regulation is no regulation.”

The Select Committee's chair Dr Tony Wright said:

"I am glad that the Government has accepted some of our proposals to increase the transparency of lobbying but disappointed that it has not accepted the case for a statutory register, which is where I think we shall eventually end up."


About the author

Tom Griffin is freelance journalist and researcher. He holds a Ph.D in social and policy sciences from the University of Bath, and is a former Executive Editor of the Irish World.


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