Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, October 24, 2011

What? We have lobbyists?

I was surprised to learn that the mother of all Parliaments did not have an official registry of lobbyists. Have they been pretending that the ruling class was above all those self-serving lobbyists? Who were all those "old boys" wearing the correct "old school ties" hanging out in Westminster's pubs?

Ministers to consider plans for a register of lobbyists
Ministers are to consult on plans for a register of lobbyists according to government sources.

It comes after Liam Fox quit as defence secretary for allowing "distinctions to be blurred" between his professional role and friendship with Adam Werritty.

Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC "legitimate questions" had been raised about political lobbying.

Labour has urged the government to introduce a compulsory register of lobbyists "as a matter of urgency"…

The register was a policy of the coalition agreement which states: "We will regulate lobbying through introducing a statutory register of lobbyists and ensuring greater transparency."

Labour's shadow cabinet office minister Gareth Thomas said: "David Cameron has still not introduced the compulsory register of lobbyists he promised…

Politicians from all parties have, over the years, called for action to be taken on lobbyists, according to our correspondent.

Successive inquiries into the regulating lobbyists at Westminster go back to 1983.

In 2009 the Public Administration Committee called for a statutory register, which would include a list of all lobbyists, their clients and a diary of all meetings with "decision makers."…

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